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stephsklar has commented on (3) products.

The Man Who Sold the World: Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America by William Kleinknecht
The Man Who Sold the World: Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America

stephsklar, October 21, 2012

This is quite possibly one of the most important political books ever, especially for people who bought into the sunny side of Reagan. For those of you who thought you knew Reagan, think again. Reagan was an illusion, who was a master of creating illusions and myths and the book's author, William Kleinknecht, addresses each of these things with well-researched facts and examples. Reagan was one of our most intolerant and racist presidents. He helped ruin careers in Hollywood with his anti-Communist rhetoric (e.g. Sean Penn's father, who wasn't even a Communist!); blamed the poor, primarily black communities (while slashing programs that were essential to their advancement) for our middle to upper-class, white, suburban teenagers getting addicted to crack; was responsible for the dismantlement of our industrial infrastructure (while previously campaigning that he wanted the working-class factory, steel, and mining communities to move upward); blamed the gay community for AIDS; dubbed Russia the Evil Empire and wanted to go to war with the country in spite of the fact that attacking us was not in their agenda; said that mostly single, black mothers abused welfare (e.g. calling them Welfare Queens, who drove up in fur coats and Cadillacs to collect their benefits); claimed to be religious, while having contempt for anyone who wasn't rich and white (In Catholic school, I was taught that no matter what race, class, gender or religion you are, we are all God's children and a leader who believes that should pride himself or herself on taking care of the very people who can't take care of themselves. So, in this case, Reagan was a blasphemous, sacrilegious, walking example of hypocrisy); and promised us the wealth would trickle up while turning America into a corporation.

He planted the seeds of the death of our once strong economy and Kleinknecht warns in the book that if we don't do something -fast, it's only going to get worse. His predictions were right. This book has never been more relevant. President Obama's (who should really change his party affiliation to Republican) policies are so far to the right and off-the-charts, that they make Reagan look like a bed-wetting liberal. Hell, as much as I'd hate to say this, they even make some of Dubya's policies seem liberal in comparison.
























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Topping from Below by Laura Reese
Topping from Below

stephsklar, August 4, 2012

This is the book that Fifty Shades of Grey wishes it was. Long before the EL James hype surrounding the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, there was an excellent and far superior book, called Topping from Below, from a new author, Laura Reese. One look at eroticism of the front and back cover design as well as extensive praise for the book and its engaging plot and I was lured in. I had to have it. How many books can you say that about?

I wasn't disappointed. The book is beautifully written. As a writer myself, I can easily say it rates right up there as some of the best writing I've ever read. The book revolves around Nora Tibbs, a successful and attractive journalist in her 30s. When her younger, more vulnerable, insecure, and reclusive sister, Franny, turns up dead, with no apparent cause of death and suspect, Nora wants answers. Rifling through Franny's belongings, she finds her sister's diary, which, in explicit detail, goes into a BDSM relationship she had with a man, named Michael, a talented musician and music professor at the nearby university. Even though the police already know about Franny's diary and Michael, they assert that you can't arrest a man for enjoying kinky, rough sex.

Nora is obsessed. She believes that Michael is responsible for her sister's death and wants him brought to justice. She starts following him and insinuates herself in his life. Michael has known all along that Nora is Franny's sister, but he goes along with it for his amusement. In spite of Nora's sheer hatred for him, his sexual pull is irresistible and undeniable and the two embark on an intense sexual relationship, fraught with heavy BDSM, in which Nora retraces Franny's footsteps and finds out more about her sister in death than she ever did when she was alive (WARNING: This book is not for the faint of heart. The lighter BDSM scenes and acts are extremely erotic. When it starts getting into the heavier stuff is when it gets harder to stomach. A wonderful counterpoint to this that alleviates the graphic nature and content of this heavy BDSM is that it's written tastefully, in a non-exploitative way. Moreover, whether or not you find such scenes disturbing, they are consensual and both partners are extremely aroused when they're engaging in such acts).

The more Nora gets to know Michael, the more questions arise about whether he really had a hand in Franny's death. There are at least two other men, whose behavior is very shady, one of them being Nora's boyfriend who has quite the jealous streak and a bad temper. The book is impossible to put down and has more twists and turns than a pretzel factory. The climax will floor you.

The pioneers never really get the full credit that they deserve and Laura Reese is living proof of that. The book should've been on The New York Times Best Seller list. A lot of people will say it's the graphic sex that knocked it out of the running and that 1995 (when the book came out) was a very different, less liberal time than 1978, when Elizabeth McNeill's brilliant memoir, Nine and a Half Weeks, made the list. If that's the case, that's a shame. Laura Reese is such a talented writer and is easily one of my favorites.






































































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Feminist Ryan Gosling: Feminist Theory (as Imagined) from Your Favorite Sensitive Movie Dude by Danielle Henderson
Feminist Ryan Gosling: Feminist Theory (as Imagined) from Your Favorite Sensitive Movie Dude

stephsklar, June 3, 2012

Can't wait till this comes out! No man could be more perfect for a book about feminist theory musings than Ryan Gosling. He has always been known for his pro-women quotes in interviews as well as his love for his mom and older sister, who have been the key people in his life that he can always rely on and recently saved Laurie Penny, a British journalist, from being hit by an oncoming taxi in Manhattan.
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