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Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts from the Heart of Americaby Garrison Keillor
Synopses & Reviews
"I didn't become a Democrat because I was angry," says Garrison Keillor, writer and host of A Prairie Home Companion, "I'm a Democrat because I received a good education in the schools of Anoka, Minnesota, and attended a great state university and when I was eighteen, John F. Kennedy ran for president." Here, with great heart and and wit and a dash of anger, Keillor describes the democratic values of the hard-working God-fearing people of Lake Wobegon and the idea of the common good?the civil compact that Republicans have been attacking for the past decade. The simple code of the Golden Rule that underlies Midwestern civility. The politics of kindness. The obligation to defend the weak against the powerful.
"Despite the gaggle of corporate shills, hobby cops, misanthropic frat boys, dittoheads, gun fetishists, shrieking midgets, and nihilists in golf pants, and their Etch-a-Sketch president with a voice like a dial tone, this is a great country. And what unites us is our moral duty to bequeath it to our grandchildren in better shape than however we found it. We have a long way to go and we're not getting any younger."
A reminiscence, a political tract, and a humorous meditation, Homegrown Democrat is a deeply personal work from one of America's best-loved voices.
Book News Annotation:
The radio storyteller speaks his partisan piece in tender prose that will bring a tear to the eye of those of his fans (and perhaps a larger audience) who feel betrayed by their government. "Something has gone wrong with the Republican Party," Keillor writes. "Once, it was the party of pragmatic Main Street businessmen in steel-rimmed spectacles who decried profligacy and waste, were devoted to their communities, and supported the sort of prosperity that raises all ships." Now, he writes, "it's the No. 1 reason why the rest of the world thinks we're deaf, dumb, and dangerous." Keillor reclaims and brandishes the banner of liberalism--"the politics of kindness"--for Americans wondering what they can do to help make the nation a better, safer place for everyone. The book is not indexed.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In a book that is at once deeply personal and intellectually savvy, Homegrown Democrat is a celebration of liberalism as the "politics of kindness." In his inimitable style, Keillor draws on a lifetime of experience amongst the hardworking, God-fearing people of the Midwest and pays homage to the common code of civic necessities that arose from the left: Protect the social compact. Defend the powerless. Maintain government as a necessary force for good.
As Keillor tells it, these are articles of faith that are being attacked by hard-ass Republican tax cutters who believe that human misery is a Dickensian fiction. In a blend of nostalgic reminiscence, humorous meditation, and articulate ire, Keillor asserts the values of his boyhood — the values of Lake Wobegon — that do not square with the ugly narcissistic agenda at work in the country today.
A thoughtful, wonderfully written book, Homegrown Democrat is Keillor's love letter to liberalism, the older generation, John F. Kennedy, the University of Minnesota, and the yellow-dog Democrat city of St. Paul that is sure to amuse and inspire Americans just when they need it most.
In this thoughtful, deeply personal work, one of the nation's best-loved voices takes the plunge into politics and comes up with a book that has had all of America talking. Here, with great heart, supple wit, and a dash of anger, Garrison Keillor describes the simple democratic values-the Golden Rule, the obligation to defend the weak against the powerful, and others- that define his hard-working Midwestern neighbors and that today's Republicans seem determined to subvert. A reminiscence, a political tract, and a humorous meditation, Homegrown Democrat is an entertaining, refreshing addition to today's rancorous political debate.
* A New York Times bestseller
* Updated and revised with a new introduction for the 2006 midterm elections
* A Featured Alternate Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club
About the Author
Garrison Keillor is the host and writer of A Prairie Home Companion, now in its 25th year on the air. He is the author of fourteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Love Me, Lake Wobegon Summer 1956, Wobegon Boy, and Lake Wobegon Days, and the editor of the anthology Good Poems. A member of the Academy of American of Arts and Letters, he lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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