Books

History as a Vocation

Introduction to Every Fury on Earth. Davies, 2008. Although I was born and raised in Gettysburg, my interest in history consisted of scouting the battlefield for patches of land where my friends and I could swill beer without attracting the park rangers. The only evidence that I possessed books lies in my memory of using …

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New Man of Power

Introduction to The Politics of Truth: Selected Essays of C. Wright Mills. Oxford University Press, 2008 It’s been said in criticism that I am too much fascinated by power. This is not really true. It is intellect I have been most fascinated by, and power primarily in connection with that. It is the role of …

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An Act of Love

Foreword to Cotton Tenants: Three Families. Melville House, 2013. James Agee never lacked for recognition as a poet, film critic, or screenwriter. So much more was expected of him, though. He couldn’t shake the suspicion that his talent was wasted even before his health wound down. “Nothing much to report,” he wrote in a May …

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No Future For You

Introduction to No Future for You: Salvos from The Baffler. The MIT Press, 2014 This book of salvos from The Baffler magazine comes with a smile and a simple message: There’s no future for you. We mean this with only a slight dash of metaphor, since our goal is to enlighten, not depress. The forces …

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The Shocking School

Pain and Shock in America: Politics, Advocacy, and the Controversial Treatment of People with DisabilitiesJan Nisbet, with contributions by Nancy R. WeissBrandeis University Press, $40 (cloth) Irony is a constant companion in autism’s search for a home in an inhospitable society. But the story of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts is rich …

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