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One Man's America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation

One Man's America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his provocative and compelling new book, Americas most widely read and most influential commentator casts his gimlet eye on our singular nation. Moving far beyond the strict confines of politics, George F. Will offers a fascinating look at the people, stories, and events-often unheralded-that make the American drama so endlessly entertaining and instructive.

With Wills signature erudition and wry wit always on display, One Mans America chronicles a spectacular, eclectic procession of figures who have shaped our cultural landscape-from Playboy founder Hugh Hefner to National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr., from Victorian poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, from cotton picker— turned—country singer Buck Owens to actor-turned-president Ronald Reagan.

Will crisscrosses the country to illuminate what it is that makes America distinctive. He visits the USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor and ponders its enduring links to the present. He travels to Milwaukee to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of an iconic brand, Harley-Davidson. In Los Angeles he finds the inspiring future of education, while in New York he confronts the dispiriting didacticism of the avant-garde. He ventures to the Civil War battlefields of Virginia to explore what we risk when we efface our own history. And on the outskirts of Chicago he investigates one of the darkest chapters in American history, only to discover a shining example of resilience and grace-the best the country has to offer.

Wills wide lens takes in much more as well-everything from the “most emblematic novel of the 1930s” (and no, it is not about the Joads) to the cult of ESPN to Brooks Brothers and Ben & Jerrys. And of course, One Mans America would not be complete without the authors insights on the national pastime, baseball-the icons and the cheats, the hapless and the greats.

Finally, in a personal and reflective turn, Will writes movingly of his thirty-five-year-old son Jon, born with Down syndrome, and pays loving and poignant tribute to his mother, who died at the age of ninety-eight after a long struggle with dementia.

The essays in One Mans America, even when critiquing American culture, reflect Wills deep affection and regard for our nation. After all, he notes, when America falls short, it does so only as compared to “the uniquely high standards it has set for itself.” In the end, this brilliantly informative and entertaining book reminds us of the enduring value of “the simple virtues and decencies that can make communities flourish and that have made America great and exemplary.”

Review:

"Pulitzer Prize — winner Will (Men at Work) serves up an engaging compilation of his columns and reviews from the past five years. Touching lightly on the Bush administration and heavily upon American history, good government, obituaries and baseball among other less schismatic topics, Will is at his most colorful when describing the intrigues and absurdities of great figures in American political history — FDR setting the price of gold from his bed, Churchill imperiously ordering bacon and alcohol from White House staff. Will is, in the late William Buckley's words, the consummate 'conservative high-priest,' who favors historical analogy and tasteful argumentation to partisan moralizing. The columns are uniformly excellent, but they are short-lived pleasures and can become disposable when read one after another — even the grouping by genre cannot obviate this — and these essays would have been better served had they been arranged chronologically. Nevertheless, this is a rewarding book, offering all the riches of a writer in full control of his medium and with plenty to tell. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

GEORGE F. WILL writes a twice-weekly column that is syndicated in more than 450 newspapers, as well as a back-page column in Newsweek that runs biweekly. He also appears each Sunday on the ABC News program This Week. The author of twelve other books, Will is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary and the Bradley Prize for Outstanding Intellectual Achievement. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307407863
Subtitle:
The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation
Publisher:
Crown Forum
Author:
Will, George
Author:
Will, George F.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Journalists
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
United states
Subject:
General Political Science
Subject:
Politics-Political Science
Publication Date:
20080603
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.55 x 6.4 x 1.3 in 1.35 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » American Studies » Culture Wars
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Political Science
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Culture
History and Social Science » US History » General

One Man's America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation
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$ In Stock
Product details 400 pages Crown Forum - English 9780307407863 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Pulitzer Prize — winner Will (Men at Work) serves up an engaging compilation of his columns and reviews from the past five years. Touching lightly on the Bush administration and heavily upon American history, good government, obituaries and baseball among other less schismatic topics, Will is at his most colorful when describing the intrigues and absurdities of great figures in American political history — FDR setting the price of gold from his bed, Churchill imperiously ordering bacon and alcohol from White House staff. Will is, in the late William Buckley's words, the consummate 'conservative high-priest,' who favors historical analogy and tasteful argumentation to partisan moralizing. The columns are uniformly excellent, but they are short-lived pleasures and can become disposable when read one after another — even the grouping by genre cannot obviate this — and these essays would have been better served had they been arranged chronologically. Nevertheless, this is a rewarding book, offering all the riches of a writer in full control of his medium and with plenty to tell. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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