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Hartsburg, USA: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 21, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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"David Mizner's novel, built around a school board election, is about nothing less than the soul of American democracy. This is a wry and moving story that manages to be funny, enthralling, and about real issues all the while keeping us on tenterhooks about a hotly contested election at its heart. Mizner's feat--allowing red state readers to care about wholly convincing blue state characters, and bringing red state characters vividly to life for blue state readers--is an unusually accomplished piece of fiction, impossible to put down, highly relevant to us all today."--Neil Gordon, author of The Company You Keep and Sacrifice of Isaac
Top Customer Reviews
This is the crux of the American red-blue divide. Can fundamentally different sets of values be brought together, or even coexist? Perhaps fittingly, the author David Mizner seems to suggest two answers, on two levels. The first is the one expressed by Baer and the other characters: that liberals and conservatives are at war, and the only way to win is to destroy the other side. At the end of the novel, there is no sense that the political chasm has come any closer to being bridged, nor have any of the characters really changed or come to a new appreciation of things.Read more ›
David Mizner avoids this trap and, instead, makes his characters human and real. He offers real insights into the fear that drives the motivations of each side, the compromises that successful politics often seems to require, the political necessities that create "strange bedfellows," and the loneliness that many of us feel as we try to find our place in a political system that has little tolerance for nuance or truth.
Mizner shows great compassion for his characters on both sides. I finished the book, not totally certain which side he was on. Maybe that's the point. Maybe most of us are on a side that is bigger than any one party allows us to be.
If you are looking for a jingoistic chuckle at expense of your political opponent, this is not the book for you. But, if you want a compelling and entertaining read that challenges your stereotypes, and provides insights into the lives of the characters who make up the larger cultural/political landscape, read "Hartsburg--USA."
I can't wait to read his next book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mizner is, I think, a diarist at Daily Kos, but to the extent that this is a liberal novel, it is subtly so. Read morePublished on March 26, 2008 by Mitch Baywatch
This was the first work of Mr. Mizner's I've enjoyed, and it won't be the last. The book was incredibly enjoyable and thought provoking. Read morePublished on December 24, 2007 by M. Weinberg
This is a terrific new novel by David Mizner, with his characteristically vivid, compressed prose and remarkably sympathetic and complex characters. Read morePublished on November 1, 2007 by Linda S.