Jessica Mitford was a member of one of England's most legendary families (among her sisters were the novelist Nancy Mitford and the current Duchess of Devonshire) and one of the great muckraking journalists of modern times. Leaving England for America, she pursued a career as an investigative reporter and unrepentant gadfly, publicizing not only the misdeeds of, most famously, the funeral business (The American Way of Death, a bestseller) and the prison business (Kind and Usual Punishment), but also of writing schools and weight-loss programs. Mitford's diligence, unfailing skepticism, and acid pen made her one of the great chroniclers of the mischief people get up to in the pursuit of profit and the name of good. Poison Penmanship collects seventeen of Mitford's finest pieces--about everything from crummy spas to network-TV censorship--and fills them out with the story of how she got the scoop and, no less fascinating, how the story developed after publication. The book is a delight to read: few journalists have ever been as funny as Mitford, or as gifted at getting around in those dark, cobwebbed corners where modern America fashions its shiny promises. It's also an unequaled and necessary manual of the fine art of investigative reporting.
Maps and Legends is an essay collection by American author Michael Chabon that was scheduled for official release on May 1, 2008, although some copies shipped two weeks early from various online bookstores. The book is Chabon's first book-length foray into nonfiction, with 16 essays, some previously published. 1] Several of these essays are defenses of the author's work in genre literature (such as science fiction, fantasy, and comics), while others are more autobiographical, explaining how the author came to write several of his most popular works.
Abraham Lincoln was the greatest writer of the Civil War as well as its greatest political leader. His clear, beautiful, and at times uncompromisingly severe language forever shaped the nation's
understanding of its most terrible conflict. This volume, along with its companion, Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1832-1858, comprises the most comprehensive selection ever published. Over 550 speeches, messages, proclamations, letters, and other writings--including the Inaugural and Gettysburg addresses and the moving condolence letter to Mrs. Bixby--record the words and deeds with which Lincoln defended, preserved, and redefined the Union.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Blake Bailey has been hailed as "addictively readable" (New York Times) and praised for his ability to capture lives "compellingly and in harrowing detail" (Time). The Splendid Things We Planned is his darkly funny account of growing up in the shadow of an erratic and increasingly dangerous brother, an exhilarating and sometimes harrowing story that culminates in one unforgettable Christmas.
This Library of America edition collects for the first time in one volume the four full-length works in which Henry David Thoreau combined his poetic sensibility, classical learning, philosophical austerity, and Yankee love of practical detail into literary masterpieces on humanity's communion with nature.A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers is based on a boat trip Thoreau took with his brother in 1839 from Concord, Massachusetts, to Concord, New Hampshire. Ten years in the writing (it was the book he retired to Walden to work on) and incorporating essays, passages from his journal, and some of his best poems, it is a superbly crafted achievement, its texture enriched by the idealism of the Transcendentalists, the delighted wordplay of an imaginative linguist, the individualism of a young America, and the earthiness of a lover of nature. Walden is a personal declaration of independence, a social experiment, and a voyage of spiritual discovery, set within the seasonal cycle of a year's "Life in the Woods." "Simplify, simplify" is the beat of its "more distant drummer"--to abandon waste and illusion, to get to the bottom of life's essential needs, and to practice a new economy for humane living. Its witty and pointed rhetoric brings together language and nature, the human and nonhuman in unusual conjunctions that resonate with symbolic meanings. A manual of self-reliance as well as a masterpiece of style, it is one of the most fervently loved classics of American literature. The Maine Woods is an account of three trips taken by boat and canoe in 1846, 1853, and 1857 through an unexplored interior bypassed by westward expansion. It describes the virgin rivers and forests of Maine, the customs of woodsmen and Indian guides, the hunting of moose, and the effects of the timber industry and encroaching settlement. An early and eloquent plea for conservation by a farsighted naturalist, its close observation of the American wild becomes an examination of "the motives which carry men into the wilderness." Cape Cod is the bleakest of Thoreau's works, resembling Melville's prose in its vision of the titanic indifference of nature. Cape Cod appears as both ocean and desert, a vast expanse of shipwrecks and barren soil, peopled by hardy, weathered inhabitants who seem survivors from the age of the first Pilgrims. Based upon his own visits and upon accounts from the earliest times, it is an unsentimental study of human endurance in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
The sharp, funny, and heartfelt follow-up to her bestselling Plan B, Anne Lamott's newest collection is a personal exploration of the faith and grace all around us. In Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Lamott examines the ways we're caught in life's most daunting predicaments: love, mothering, work, politics, and maybe toughest of all, evolving from who we are to who we were meant to be. This is a complicated process for most of us, and Lamott turns her wit and honesty inward to describe her own intimate, bumpy, and unconventional road to grace and faith. I wish grace and healing were more abracadabra kinds of things, she writes in one of her essays, that delicate silver bells would ring to announce grace's arrival. But no, it's clog and slog and scootch, on the floor, in silence, in the dark. Whether she's writing about her unsuccessful efforts to get her money back from an obstinate carpet salesman, grappling with the tectonic shifts in her relationship with her son as he matures, trying to maintain her faith and humor during politically challenging times, or helping a close friend die with dignity, Lamott seeks out both the divinity and the humanity in herself and everything around her. Throughout these essays, she writes of her struggle to find the essence of her faith, which she uncovers in the unlikeliest places. By turns insightful and hilarious, pointed and poignant, Grace (Eventually) is Anne Lamott at her perceptive and irreverent best.
Abraham Lincoln measured the promise--and cost--of American freedom in lucid and extraordinarily moving prose, famous for its native wit, simple dignity of expressions, and peculiarly American flavor. This volume, with its companion, Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writing 1859-1865, comprises the most comprehensive selection ever published. over 240 speeches, letters, and drafts take Lincoln from rural law practice to national prominence, and chart his emergence as an eloquent antislavery advocate and defender of the constitution. included are the complete Lincoln-Douglas debates, perhaps the most famous confrontation in American political history.LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
The original Traveler's Vade Mecum, published in 1853, contained thousands of telegrams. Ross chose telegrams as titles for poems solicited from dozens of poets, including Bollingen Prize winner Frank Bidart and former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins to create a digital-age compendium of old-world poetics. Here are lyric poems, language poems, prose poems, found poems, haikus, pantoums, ekphrases, epistolary poems, acrostics, sonnets and mirror sonnets. Demonstrating the range of what poetry can do, this book provides a fascinating glimpse into the habits and social aspects of 19th century America--and shows how we have evolved 163 years later.
The sensational sequel to the bestselling memoir The Basketball DiariesDuring the early 1970s, Jim Carroll was a young and rising star in the crazy and creative downtown scene in New York City. He worked at the Factory for Andy Warhol and discussed art, literature, and the cosmos with Robert Smithson, Allen Ginsberg, and Bob Dylan. He spent nights at Max's Kansas City, listening to the Velvet Underground. And he did far too many drugs -- until his survival instinct impelled him to leave New York for a Northern California retreat. Intimate and revealing, the episodes in Forced Entries, Carroll's diaries from that period, provide a sometimes hilarious, sometimes frightening glimpse of people who tested the limits of life and sanity. Forced Entries captures the early-seventies period in New York better than anything I've read in a long time. -- William S. Burroughs