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Homeland Hardcover – May 4, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; A Seven Stories Press 1st Ed edition (May 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583226273
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583226278
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,228,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Longtime collaborators Maharidge and Williamson (And Their Children After Them, etc.) return with this provocative montage of photographs and reportage that addresses the state of the American psyche before and after September 11. Williamson's 40 stunning b&w photos and Maharidge's fractured, descriptive reportage both explore an America that is not so much marginalized as it is simply "invisible"—places and people beyond the economic, political and urban foci of mainstream reporting. It is a disturbing portrayal of an anguished and economically depressed America, for which "[w]hat happened on 9/11 was not a genesis, but an amplifier of unease that had long been building." Some sections focus on victims of post-9/11 intolerance (a young girl suspended from a West Virginia school for wearing antiwar messages on her T-shirts (school administrators thought she should see a psychologist), while others address more complex characters who are confused and angered by September 11 (a goth white supremacist in Chicago fights with Arab-Americans at school, calling them "human bitches"). Maharidge argues that contemporary America dangerously resembles the Weimar Republic, or "Heimat," that led to Nazi Germany. Despite his anecdotal evidence, the author's portrait of America as "consumed by anger and fear" will strike many as questionable at best. Sympathizers will see the argument more as a provocative call for American self-assessment than a rant. While it threatens at times to dissolve into a simple juxtaposition of tolerance versus bigotry, this book emerges as a sensitive, heartfelt examination of a wounded America whose wounds existed long before the terrorist attacks.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

When he isn’t crossing the country talking to the people who live here, former newspaper reporter DALE MAHARIDGE has been a visiting professor of journalism at Columbia University and Stanford. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1987–88. He lives in Northern California. MICHAEL WILLIAMSON is a photographer for the Washington Post who, in addition to the Pulitzer Prize he shares with Maharidge, won a second Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the war in Kosovo. His other honors include the World Press Photo and Nikon World Understanding Through Photography awards.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By NICOLE L. on July 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
When I picked up this book I was intrigued with his concept of a journey across the country to document the changes in American consciousness since 9/11.
I was startled and enthused as Maharidge uncovered the underpinnings of various and diverse, highly charged, emotional crosscurrents affecting the nation.
His dedication begins, "To the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights . . ." So it is no surprise that parts of the book focus on the repression of opinions differing from mainstream conservative. Many accounts cover intimidation and lost jobs. But Maharidge doesn't stop there; he searches out and interviews both sides for their stories, which underneath have common threads.
Maharidge digs deeper than the surface tensions of neo-conservatives versus liberals, to address the economic crisis that has been building in the country for the last 30 years; the emotions of which, September 11 catalyzed to the surface in deeply divided positions in America.
The book is full of information, and reveals more controversial actions taken by the current administration after 9/11, such as the destroying of gun purchase records, (supported by the NRA) after the FBI had begun to find correlations to terrorists in the records.
He sets to rights such misquotes as, "my country, right or wrong." The correct quote, actually spoken by Carl Schurz, a U. S. Senator in 1899, goes: "Our country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right."
In the last part of the book, Maharidge points out some parallels between the U.S. today, and W.W.II Germany, and actions taken by Hitler. While there are some similarities, he says the comparison is by no means exact, but it is worth taking note of.
All in all an engrossing and educational read that peels back the layers of extremism dividing the country, to expose common struggles and concerns.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Eric Enders on September 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson's "Homeland" is the best book of 2004, and one of the most important nonfiction works ever published about the United States.

Maharidge travels through the United States observing the ways in which the attacks of 9/11/2001 have changed America and Americans. Many of these changes are obvious, but others are more subtle. With the seasoned eye of a trained reporter, Maharidge picks up on these changes and analyzes them with an amazing degree of insight. His conversations with ordinary Americans around the country reveal the different ways -- many of them downright scary -- in which the USA has changed over the last few years.

Much of the book deals with neo-McCarthyism and the distressing willingness of many Americans to give up their constitutionally-protected freedoms after 9/11. Maharidge chronicles many recent attacks on the Bill of Rights by local governments, the federal government, and "concerned citizens" alike. He also details the ways in which the 9/11 attacks fueled the latent racism that many Americans feel toward Muslims, resulting in tragedies like the white mob that attacked a Chicago-area mosque on the evening after the attacks.

Maharidge makes no secret of his left-wing perspective, but that doesn't mean this book is a political tract. On the contrary, he bends over backwards to be fair and non-judgmental toward the people he interviews, even when he's talking with white supremacists and other unsavory characters. Maharidge has his own opinion, but thankfully, he also has a genuine desire to understand events from the perspective of those who differ from him politically.

Michael Williamson's photographs are also superb, as usual.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"Homeland" is Dale Maharidge's best work to date, and he's done a lot of wonderful work over the years. His research is thorough-going, his connection with his subjects is spot-on, and his anecdotes are insightful. "Homeland" is much more than a prosaic string of interviews. Maharidge threads them masterfully and meaningfully to draw revealing and often frightening conclusions. His notes at the end illustrate the energy and determination of an enterprising and resourceful journalist. Maharidge is a master craftsman of the heartland.
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By L. Pejsach on January 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book! This book is also incredible. It describes the mood of the nation between 9/11 and the economic meltdown. At the same time it is revealing that things weren't so great before 9/11. Our problems were in the making for a few decades. It gives an excellent description of our political climate and it is compared with other totalitarian regimes of the past despite the fact that we are not there yet.
The book is written in a simple journalistic way, the authors are journalists. It's relatively short and very worthwhile for the price.
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