By Peter Swirski
Via a dialogue of various paintings and media comparable to apocalyptic thrillers, rap, and tv, Swirski debunks the yankee political process, sieving out truth from a sea of bipartisan untruths. attractive with shut research and a number of case reports, this booklet forges a extra actual photograph of latest American tradition and of the USA itself.
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Additional info for American Political Fictions: War on Errorism in Contemporary American Literature, Culture, and Politics
Periclean Athens has bequeathed us the ideal of a democratic polity, and the United States has carried this progressive, egalitarian torch forward. ”9 How easily one can fall afoul of American-style liberty is exemplified by the experience of arguably its greatest scientist. In February 1950, foreshadowing by a decade Eisenhower’s own warning to the nation, Albert Einstein went on television to condemn the de facto military government within the American government. Much like Picture This, his portrait of the United States has lost nothing of its sting today: Concentration of tremendous financial power in the hands of the military, militarization of the youth, close supervision of the loyalty of the citizens, in particular, of the civil servants by a police force growing more conspicuous every day.
10 The next day after the broadcast, J. Edgar Hoover dispatched a top-secret memo to all FBI offices, authorizing a hunt for any and all defamatory information on America’s leading physicist and pacifist. This official smear campaign to paint him as a communist lackey, even a spy à la Klaus Fuchs, lasted until Einstein’s death in 1955, by which time Hoover’s file had grown to more than eighteen hundred pages of defamatory allegations and allegedly subversive statements. Just another brick in the wall of what half a century ago historian Richard Hofstadter identified as the paranoid style in American politics—reincarnated under Bush’s and Obama’s citizen metadata-spying NSA.
But the stirring consonance of his comparisons suggests that the differences may be only superficial, and the analogies profound. Shuttling back and forth between the internecine wars on the Peloponnesus and the colonial heyday of the Dutch East India Company, Picture This lives up to its author’s catchphrase of being a book about money and war. Recto and verso of the same political coin, these twin engines of history impose an almost classical unity of theme on what some critics panned as a scattershot (not to say scatterbrain) book.