Description : A REVELATORY AND DARKLY COMIC ADVENTURE THROUGH A NATION ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN—FROM THE HALLS OF CONGRESS TO THE BASES OF BAGHDAD TO THE APOCALYPTIC CHURCHES OF THE HEARTLAND Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi set out to describe the nature of George Bush’s America in the post-9/11 era and ended up vomiting demons in an evangelical church in Texas, riding the streets of Baghdad in an American convoy to nowhere, searching for phantom fighter jets in Congress, and falling into the rabbit hole of the 9/11 Truth Movement. Matt discovered in his travels across the country that the resilient blue state/red state narrative of American politics had become irrelevant. A large and growing chunk of the American population was so turned off—or radicalized—by electoral chicanery, a spineless news media, and the increasingly blatant lies from our leaders (“they hate us for our freedom”) that they abandoned the political mainstream altogether. They joined what he calls The Great Derangement. Taibbi tells the story of this new American madness by inserting himself into four defining American subcultures: The Military, where he finds himself mired in the grotesque black comedy of the American occupation of Iraq; The System, where he follows the money-slicked path of legislation in Congress; The Resistance, where he doubles as chief public antagonist and undercover member of the passionately bonkers 9/11 Truth Movement; and The Church, where he infiltrates a politically influential apocalyptic mega-ministry in Texas and enters the lives of its desperate congregants. Together these four interwoven adventures paint a portrait of a nation dangerously out of touch with reality and desperately searching for answers in all the wrong places. Funny, smart, and a little bit heartbreaking, The Great Derangement is an audaciously reported, sobering, and illuminating portrait of America at the end of the Bush era.
Description : Is our imagination adequate to the realities of global warming? The novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that we need art and literature to help us imagine our future in the Anthropocene, but that they are falling short of the task. If culture cannot help us see the realities of our plight, then our era, which so congratulates itself on its self-awareness, may come to be known as the time of the Great Derangement. A case in point is fiction, which is so committed to normalcy and the everyday that it has no space for the improbability of climate change events the persistent droughts, hundred-year storms, and freakish tornadoes. Our politics, likewise, seems unable to mobilize forcefully in response to climate change. Ghosh argues that politics, like literature, has become a matter of individual moral reckoning, a journey of the solitary conscience rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. A powerful nonfiction work by one of our most gifted, historically attuned novelists, "The Great Derangement "brings a fresh urgency to thinking on climate change. "
Description : Have you ever wondered why there seems to be a built-in dissatisfaction attached to all human endeavor, such that no amount of wealth, pleasure, or success can free us from the nagging suspicion that there simply must be more to life than what we see around us? Whether displayed in film, art, popular music, or in the depths of our own hearts, human frustration with the status quo is inescapable. Perhaps the reason for this is the fact that God has hardwired us for heaven and instilled within our souls a longing for eternal life that no earthly spoils can satisfy? Perhaps it is our future that defines us, rather than our past? Perhaps it is not the origin, but the destiny of the species that truly unlocks the mystery of who we really are? It is these and many other questions that Jason Stellman explores in these pages in a way that is simple, provocative, and culturally engaging. If you've ever stopped to ponder the mystery of who we are and why we're here, this book is a must-read.