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American Monsters: 44 Rats, Blackhats, and Plutocrats [Kindle Edition]

Mark Jacobson Jack Newfield , Jack Newfield , Mark Jacobson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Among our most celebrated and notorious Americans, these monsters are the corrupt, greedy, power-mad, and vicious betrayers of the dreams of fair play and equal opportunity, the practitioners of a catalog of anti-democratic vice: from anti-Semitism and union-busting to racism and murder. Organized in Dantesque circles, American Monsters remembers history a little differently than it is taught in school. Indian exterminator President Andrew Jackson, Jew-baiting propagandist Henry Ford, and nearly forty other malefactors whose evil cores have been relegated to footnotes, are brought to account. From Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Roger Taney, to robber barons and captains of industry like Henry Clay Frick and Andrew Carnegie; from Ezra Pound and Col. Tom Parker to cops and criminals like Alan Pinkerton and Charles Manson, American Monsters is provocative and entertaining history that you won’t read anywhere else. With specially commissioned essays by veteran chroniclers such as Pete Hamill, Jimmy Breslin, Ishmael Reed, Steve Earle, Danny Schechter, Nat Hentoff, James Ridgeway, Joe Conason, Michael Wolff, Danny Goldberg, Will Blythe, and Legs McNeil, this collection of national malfeasance—edited by award-winning columnist Jack Newfield—holds up a dark mirror to the national character.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The most despicable Americans of all time--from politics, sports, religion, letters, science, business, and, of course, crime--are named, then fully denounced in this collection of 44 essays by 41 writers, including Nat Hentoff, Ishmael Reed, and Christopher Hitchens. Some of the chosen: John Wilkes Booth, Ty Cobb, Colonel Tom Parker, Charles Manson, O. J. Simpson, Joseph McCarthy, and J. Edgar Hoover. The viewpoint tends to be left of center, so it's not a surprise to find George W. Bush, John Ashcroft, William Bennett, and Henry Kissinger. Readers, though, might be surprised to find Billy Graham ("he restored Protestant fundamentalism to its central place in American life"), Henry Ford (cited for virulent anti-Semitism), and Thomas Edison (accused, among other things, of obtaining dogs from the ASPCA for electrocution experiments). As a sort of addendum, the editors go after the Reverend Al Sharpton, Stephen Spielberg (!), and Jane Fonda. Largely unleavened by humor, this ill-tempered collection of essays--specifically commissioned for the occasion--will both offend and delight, depending on the reader's point of view. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 2821 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (March 6, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001EYTGQ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,513,887 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different spin December 14, 2012
By ed1
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's a new perspective that most history texts neglect to include. ......some real despicable character traits in this gene pool.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly varied. April 28, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I now understand Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson and Jefferson Davis a lot better, but am more confused than ever about Brigham Young and Elijah Muhammed. Every few pages is different author, some clear, some 'poetic'. It's apparent that the publisher made no demands for any consistency of tone. I appreciate that to the extent that I can follow the results.
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