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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Department of Book Reports 64: The Generals’ Sidebar

I had hoped to review a couple of books this week, The World Without Us (St. Martins $24.95), but I haven’t finished that one yet, and Bastard Languages (Hill and Wang $26.00), a interesting study of the World’s Pidgin/Creole languages, but wanted to do so in tandem with another book on language that I haven’t seen yet. So those will have to wait.

Instead, I will point out the fine books the General has listed on his sidebar and highlight those.

Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland (Scribner Book Co. $37.50) looks to be a fascinating social history of the late ‘60’s, and early ‘70’s. It features the comeback of Richard Nixon against the backdrop of urban riots, the student movement against the Viet Nam war, the assassinations of RFK and MLK, and the breakdown of the Democratic Party at Chicago. It also looks at the many personalities from that time, including Spiro Agnew, George Wallace, Abbie Hoffman, John Lindsay, and the early careers of John Kerry, William Jefferson Clinton and Karl Rove. This book is not yet published and will be available on May 13th

I reported on Glenn Greenwald’s A Tragic Legacy (now in paperback, $14.95, Three Rivers) last year here. His new book, Great American Hypocrites (Crown $24.95), explores the GOP’s public relations deceptions and how the right-wing hijacks policy debates. Greenwald explodes those myths, like Republicans are brave and courageous, while it is comprised of chicken hawks and draft dodgers. Or the myth that the GOP is strong on defense, while their policies prey on fear and the wars they begin make us much less safe.

Then there are two new books from PoliPoint Press. John Gorenfeld’s book Bad Moon Rising ($24.95) examines how the Reverend Moon, you know, “humanity’s savior, Messiah, returning Lord and True Parent”, became a power in American politics, not only with his creation of the Washington Times (does anyone in D.C. really read it?) and his support for Republican office holders, and the Bush family. Cliff Schecter’s The Real McCain ($14.95) is a portrait of the Senator from Arizona, and how his media image doesn’t actually reflect his public record. Sam Seder says of Schecter that he “…is either the funniest smart person, or the smartest funny person. Either way, this book is exactly what America needs….” Having read his stuff at the Huffington Post, I have to agree.

And I see that the General has a link for Dutch recording artist Anouk’s Udpate CD. If you haven’t heard her cover of “Losing My Religion”, please treat yourself.

These books are available (or in the case of Nixonland will be available) at Jackson Street Books and fine Independent Bookstores. You may purchase them by going to our listings at (See the catalog, General's Book Club) or

democommie™™™™™©®ç åü is busy preparing questions for Charles Gibson to ask at the next debate.

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