Synopses & Reviews
In Look Homeward, America, Bill Kauffman introduces us to the reactionary radicals, front-porch anarchists, and traditionalist rebels who give American culture and politics its pith, vim, and life. Blending history, memoir, digressive literariness, and polemic, Kauffman provides fresh portaiture of such American originals as Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, regionalist painter Grant Wood, farmer-writer Wendell Berry, publisher Henry Regnery, maverick U.S. senators Eugene McCarthy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and other Americans who cantor shouldntbe filed away in the usual boxes labeled liberal” and conservative.” Ranging from Millard Fillmore to Easy Rider, from Robert Frost to Mother Jones, Kauffman limns an alternative America that draws its breath from local cultures, traditional liberties, small-scale institutions, and neighborliness. There is an America left that is worth saving: these are its paragons, its poets, its pantheon.
"Kauffman’s marvelous trick of praising to the skies and then noting shortcomings and even vices increases the fascination of his remarks on such defenders of "family, community, [and] local self-rule" as Wendell Berry, Grant Wood, Carolyn Chute, Millard Fillmore...More marvelous is that Kauffman, who freely injects himself into his prose, treats himself the same way; he vaunts his stance on something and then acknowledges his contradictions on the same matter. If figures he considers overrated don’t get the same treatment, well, that helps keep things snappy. His writing persona couldn’t be more appealing."-Ray Olson, Booklist
About the Author
is the author of five books, most recently the localist manifesto Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette,
which won the 2003 national Sense of Place” award from Writers & Books.
His other books include a novel, a travel book, and works about American isolationists and critics of progress. He writes for the Wall Street Journal,
the American Enterprise, Counterpunch,
and the American Conservative,
among other publications. Kauffman lives in his native Genesee County, New York, with his wife Lucine and their daughter Gretel.
Other Titles by Bill Kauffman:
Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette: A Mostly Affectionate Account of a Small Town's Fight to Survive, Bill Kauffman, Henry Holt & Company, March 2004. With Good Intentions?: Reflections on the Myth of Progress in America, Bill Kauffman, Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated, October 1998.