Literature

The Agony and Aghastitude: Thomas Frank in Berkeley Tonight, Corte Madera Thursday

I suspect that for a lot of prosperous liberals, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. For them, there’s an alternative to political victory: a utopia of scolding. Who needs to win elections when you can personally reestablish the rightful social order every day on Twitter and Facebook? When you can scold, and scold, and…

Happy Birthday to Anti-Imperialist & Satirist Mark Twain

Happy Birthday to anti-imperialist Mark Twain – born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835.

As Twain told the New York Herald in October of 1900, after becoming more familiar with the Treaty of Paris and witnessing the U.S. war on the Philippines: “so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.”

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Ursula Le Guin at National Book Awards: Capitalism Is Not Inescapable

According to NPR’s Petra Mayer, “the crowd went wild” over science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin’s impassioned defense of the genre’s place in American fiction at the National Book Awards on November 19. Le Guin went further, providing an otherwise sedate crowd with a stirring indictment of capitalism, suggesting we will need visionary writers…

Forty Years On, Wendell Berry’s “Culture of Agriculture” May Be More Important Than Ever

Forty years ago this month, Kentucky writer and farmer Wendell Berry traveled to Washington to address the “Agriculture for a Small Planet” symposium in Spokane. Invited to the West Coast to give voice to a “Labor Intensive Micro-Systems Viewpoint” – a phrase he promptly took issue with – Berry’s presentation eventually became the foundation of…