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Cannibals and Christians Mass Market Paperback – September, 1981

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Pinnacle Books (Mm); Reissue edition (September 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0523480148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0523480145
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a collection of Mailer's work from 1960-66 and includes political articles, book reviews, a couple of stories, a few interviews, and some of the worst poetry ever written. Most readers either liked or hated Mailer, but whatever side of the fence you came down on it was impossible not to realize, even appreciate, the seriousness of his intent. Probably a quarter of the book is in some way concerned with Lyndon Johnson, and although he is highly critical, especially concerning events in Vietnam, he is also respectful and deeply reflective. Mailer also writes about the Kennedys, NYC politics, architecture, and a number of writers, including James Baldwin, Mary McCarthy, and Philip Roth among others. Of the interviews (one of which appears to be made up by Mailer), the best is the Paris Review one, where he is at his most speculative and ruminative. The stories, one a SF experiment, are forgettable, and the poetry, which is sprinkled throughout the book, is embarrassingly bad. The non-fiction Mailer represented here shows the author in full stride.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
There was time in my youth back in the 1960s and early 1970s that I devoured everything I could get my hands on by the later American writer Norman Mailer. While that urgency is no longer true I nevertheless still find him an interesting political and philosophical opponent. What was the reason for that enthusiasm in my youth? Simple, it was Mailer’s commitment to do novelistically and journalistically for the philosophy of existentialism what the French writers, especially, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, did for the philosophical argument itself. That philosophy, borne of terminal despair at the carnage, brutality and inhuman cruelties of World War II (and nicely written about in a first-hand way with his first novel, The Naked and the Dead), the seeming almost organic inability of the international working class to go beyond Stalinism and Social Democratic reformism in the quest for socialism and an acknowledgement that modern humankind had let technological developments outstrip its capacity to understand and control those forces, has nevertheless become threadbare with time. We live too existential lives to find much conform in such philosophy (to speak nothing of the aid of tech/text/eyes down-driven technology)

Let us face it; every political and social commentator is confronted with the need to find some basis to ground his or her analysis of the seemingly random events that demand our attentions and explanations. Over long experience I have found historical materialism a much more grounded philosophy for looking at the apparently random individual facts of existence. Although I have not read very recent Mailer all his works I have read lack this connection. So be it. We were after all in the end political opponents.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
some of the worst poetry that you will ever read. and some of the most interesting thoughts on LBJ, contemporary to a time long ago.
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