Essays are enjoying renewed popularity, from the personal essays of Lewis Thomas, to the intellectual treats of Marguerite Yourcenar, to the political and social commentary of Michael Parenti in this superb collection. Parenti covers the myth of the liberal media, terrorist hype, John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy phobia, and an insider's view of ethnic struggle, among many other topical subjects. The essays are eye-openers, expressed in straightforward, smooth prose that entertains as it informs. If you enjoy a fresh perspective on contemporary issues, or if you want information on issues that may have been hidden or glossed over by the media, pick up Parenti! This eye-opening and entertaining collection of essays investigates media and culture, conspiracy and state power, ideology and political consciousness. Parenti ranges over such crucial issues as free speech, the rise of neofascism, the relationship between wealth and poverty, the "terrorism" hype, the continuing mystifications about the Kennedy assassination, and the deceptions and injustices of U.S. corporate global domination.
Moving from the political to the personal, Parenti shows the links between seemingly disparate social and political forces. Dirty Truths also contains three poems and moving accounts of his own ethnic family life and the political intolerance he encountered in academia. This book is a rich buffet, an enlightening and provocative feast for the mind and heart. Author of Against Empire, Democracy for the Few, Land of Idols: Political Mythology in America, and many other books, Michael Parenti is one of the country's most astute and engaging political analysts. He has taught at a number of universities and now lives in Berkeley, California.
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(201mm x 137mm x 17mm)
City Lights Books
Publisher: City Lights Books
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US Kirkus Review »
America the Beautiful is a lie, and the American dream is a nightmare for all but the rich. So argues leftist journalist Parenti (Land of Idols, 1993, etc.) in this scattershot collection. As the long subtitle suggests, this book gathers occasional pieces - sometimes only a couple of pages long - on subjects connected only by the author's insistent Marxist analysis, "the other great paradigm that haunts the bourgeois scholarly world like a specter." One out of every six Americans regularly uses emotion-controlling medical drugs; 150,000 young people are reported missing every year; 16 million Americans have diabetes, thanks in part to a diet of sugary junk food; and 12 million Americans are chronically malnourished due to poverty. This is so, Parenti maintains, because "the goal of ruling interests is to keep this society and the entire world open for maximum profitability regardless of the human and environmental costs." None of this is new, of course; any number of similarly inclined social critics have been pressing the argument for years. Parenti has a penchant for flogging long-dead horses: "The Nazi invasion of Poland is fascism in action; the American invasion of Vietnam is a 'blunder' or at worst an 'immoral application' of power." He also has a maddening habit of refusing to get down to cases; he may well be right, but he never sticks around long enough to argue his point, instead firing a volley and dashing to the next target: the JFK assassination, global warming. When he does settle in for an extended discussion, he often scores points, as when he examines the role of the corporate media in stifling left journalistic criticism. And Parenti's memoir of growing up in a working-class Italian family is warm and fully realized while keeping a radical edge, a real contribution to the ethnic-studies literature. Still, Parenti is mostly content to offer propaganda in the place of closely argued advocacy. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Michael Parenti
Michael Parenti, PhD Yale, is an internationally known author and lecturer. He is one of the nation's leadiing progressive political analysts. He is the author of over 250 published articles and seventeen books. His writings are published in popular periodicals, scholarly journals, and his op-ed pieces have been in leading newspapers such as the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. His informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad.