what i'm reading: harper's and the walrus

Post-Peru, I first caught up on three weeks' worth of Pepys' Diary. I'm addicted, and determined to read this 17th Century blog from start to finish.

Now I'm working my way through very good issues of Harper's and The Walrus, which is a kind of Canadian Harper's. I highly recommend the June issues of both these mags.

In Harper's:

- Kevin Baker, an excellent writer and historian, and my sometime email friend, explains the historical underpinnings of the right-wing's re-emergence in the US, post-FDR. It's fascinating reading: "Stabbed In The Back: The Past and Future of Right-Wing Myth"

- Art Spiegelman responds to the Danish "cartoon war" with words and pictures. Enlightening, and sometimes stunning, as Spiegelman is. His "final solution" cartoon alone is worth the newsstand price.

- David Samuels reports from Detroit: "The Blind Man and the Elephant - Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, and thousands of overweight teenagers party in the ruins of Detroit for Super Bowl XL". It's not David Foster Wallace at the state fair, but it's very good.

The Walrus reports on three "national dreams" for Canada: (from the cover) "That Canada be united by a vigorous Ottawa; that we build great cities; that we recognize America for the rough beast that it is." The stories:

- "A House Half Built" - Canada's great promise lies in reaffirming our shared destiny - by Roy Romanow

- "Brighter Lights, Bigger Cities" - Our metropolises crave more money, power and control - by Alan Broadbent

- "The American Gigantic" - On life, liberty, and the pursuit of upward mobility - by Mark Kingwell.

After this, I think I'm about to go on a nonfiction tear. Jared Diamond's Collapse is waiting for me, and I'm not sure if I can wait for the paperback of At Canaan's Edge, the final installment of Taylor Branch's Martin Luther King, Jr. trilogy.

1 comment:

James Redekop said...

My latest post on '77 Track 7 includes some comments on Collapse. Highly recommended. I'm going to have to pick up Third Chimpanzee some time soon.