Top positive review
I wish this book were twice as long as it is.
on March 12, 2016
I met a man who wrote high school history books. He said the publishers told him to avoid three things in the books out of fear of offending the buyers. They told him, "Don't write about sex, politics, or violence." Of course, history, for the most part, is based on sex, politics, and violence, resulting in a lot of boring and sanitized history books. Well, here is a book that didn't listen to the voices of fear. It puts it out there with the added elements of literature, art, music, technology, religion, greed, murder, racism, sex, and as much as can be found in 1050 pages. This is a book to sip slowly. I started reading it in September and finished the final entry in March. The book has over 200 entries, and I wish it had more. I took my time, reading one or two articles a day, underlining, highlighting, and commenting in the book, until I came to the end. I loved the experience. Most days I'd read an article and find a gem or an idea, a reflection, or an episode I hadn't considered or even knew existed. This book changed how I see America. While it reinforced some ideas, it also introduced perspectives I hadn't considered. While each article is written independently of the others, common themes of American mythology, racism, class structure, politics, sex, and violence weave through the pages.