In this new collection of essays, Wendell Berry continues his work as one of America's most necessary social commentators. With wisdom and clear, ringing prose, he tackles head-on some of the most difficult problems which face us as we near the end of the twentieth century.Berry begins the title essay with the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings as an example of a "process that has been well established and well respected for at least two hundred years--the process . . . of community disintegration." Community, a "locally understood interdependence of local people, local culture, local economy, and local nature," bound by trust and affection, is "being destroyed by the desires and ambitions of both private and public life which for want of the intervention of community interests, are also destroying one another." He then moves on to elucidate connections between sexual brutality and economic brutality, and the role of art and free speech. Berry forcefully addresses America's unabashed pursuit of self-liberation, which he says is "still the strongest force now operating in our society." As individuals turn away from their community, they conform to a "rootless and placeless monoculture of commercial expectations and products," buying into the very economic system which is destroying the earth, our communities, and all they represent. Throughout the book Berry asks, What is appropriate? What is worth conserving from our past and preserving in our present? What is it to be human and truly connected to others? What does it mean to be free?
Bahauddin, Rumi's father, was not only a major force in the development of Islamic spirituality, but also deeply influential in his son's life. This delightful and provocative collection reveals the depth of thirteenth-century Sufi mystical wisdom and its acute observations into nature, humanity, and the mysteries of life. Full of wit and insight, Bahauddin's notes bring to the reader a deeper understanding of his son Rumi's spiritual and intellectual heritage.
After his father's death in 1231, Rumi carried his father's spiritual notebook, known as the Maarif, everywhere. The writer Aflaki tells this story of the meeting of Rumi and Shams: Rumi is sitting by a fountain in Konya talking to his students with the Maarif open on the fountain's ledge. Suddenly, Shams interrupts the conversation and pushes the precious text into the water.
"Who are you and why are you doing this?" asks Rumi, protesting that this copy of his father's diary is the only one in existence.
Shams replies, "It is time for you to live what you have been reading of and talking about. But if you want, we can retrieve the book. It will be perfectly dry. See?" And he lifts Bahauddin's notebook out, "Dry."
Rumi set aside his father's book and joined Shams; but now, in this first-ever translation of the vital passages of the Maarif, renowned poet Coleman Barks and Persian scholar John Moyne open a window into the world of Rumi, the young man who became one of the world's best-loved poets and great spiritual teachers.
John Andrew's groundbreaking exploration of one of the most mysterious of all government agencies takes its title from Chief Justice John Marshall's famous dictum, "The power to tax is the power to destroy." Mr. Andrew confirms what many have suspected for a long time: that presidents, political appointees, and bureaucrats have attempted to use the Internal Revenue Service to punish their enemies. The author combed the papers of presidential staff, IRS officials, congressional critics, and the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, and petitioned under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain IRS documents. What he discovered was a series of projects and investigations that at times resemble a spy thriller. Beginning with the Kennedy administration's Ideological Organizations Project, which investigated, intimidated, and challenged the tax-exempt status of right-wing foundations, Mr. Andrew traces the ways Democrats and Republicans alike used the IRS to accomplish political goals during the 1960s and early 1970s. Seemingly innocuous names like Operation Leprechaun and Project Tradewinds, together with an array of intelligence and surveillance activities, formed a pattern of abuse that threatened the foundations of American political culture. In one of the most powerful and sobering passages of the book, Mr. Andrew chronicles the IRS's Special Service Staff, which carried out activities that were more extensive and intrusive than Nixon's infamous Enemies List--yet received scant coverage in the media. He also offers important revelations about Nixon's ties to organized crime through Bebe Rebozo. Power to Destroy is a shocking analysis of how political influence has corrupted the IRS, and how the agency's own crusade for secrecy hides its operations from public scrutiny, even from congressional committees responsible for overseeing its activities.
Based on hundreds of inside sources and secret documents, the author reveals the inner operations of the C.I.A., the world's largest and most sophisticated espionage apparatus, its players, and its clandestine relationships throughout the world
Cheap booze. Flying ﬂeshpots. Lack of sleep. Endless spin. Lying pols.Just a few of the snares lying in wait for the reporters who covered the 1972 presidential election. Traveling with the press pack from the June primaries to the big night in November, Rolling Stone reporter Timothy Crouse hopscotched the country with both the Nixon and McGovern campaigns and witnessed the birth of modern campaign journalism. The Boys on the Bus is the raucous story of how American news got to be what it is today. With its verve, wit, and psychological acumen, it is a classic of American reporting.
With What's So Great About America, Dinesh D'Souza is not asking a question, but making a statement. The former White House policy analyst and bestselling author argues that in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, American ideals and patriotism should not be things we shy away from. Instead he offers the grounds for a solid, well-considered pride in the Western pillars of "science, democracy and capitalism," while deconstructing arguments from both the political Left and political Right. As an "outsider" from India who has had amazing success in the United States, D'Souza defends not an idealized America, but America as it really is, and measures America not against an utopian ideal, but against the rest of the world in a provocative, challenging, and personal book.
"Hunter S. Thompson is to drug-addled, stream-of-consciousness, psycho-political black humor what Forrest Gump is to idiot savants."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer
Since his 1972 trailblazing opus, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, Hunter S. Thompson has reported the election story in his truly inimitable, just-short-of-libel style. In Better than Sex, Thompson hits the dusty trail again--without leaving home--yet manages to deliver a mind-bending view of the 1992 presidential campaign--in all of its horror, sacrifice, lust, and dubious glory. Complete with faxes sent to and received by candidate Clinton's top aides, and 100 percent pure gonzo screeds on Richard Nixon, George Bush, and Oliver North, here is the most true-blue campaign tell-all ever penned by man or beast.
" Thompson] delivers yet another of his trademark cocktail mixes of unbelievable tales and dark observations about the sausage grind that is the U.S. presidential sweepstakes. Packed with egocentric anecdotes, musings and reprints of memos, faxes and scrawled handwritten notes (Memorable."
--Los Angeles Daily News
"What endears Hunter Thompson to anyone who reads him is that he will say what others are afraid to (. He] is a master at the unlikely but invariably telling line that sums up a political figure (.In a year when all politics is--to much of the public--a tendentious and pompous bore, it is time to read Hunter Thompson."
"While Tom Wolfe mastered the technique of being a fly on the wall, Thompson mastered the art of being a fly in the ointment. He made himself a part of every story, made no apologies for it and thus produced far more honest reporting than any crusading member of the Fourth Estate (. Thompson isn't afraid to take the hard medicine, nor is he bashful about dishing it out (.He is still king of beasts, and his apocalyptic prophecies seldom miss their target."
"This is a very, very funny book. No one can ever match Thompson in the vitriol department, and virtually nobody escapes his wrath."
--The Flint Journal