July 13, 2016

Book review: Two books about maps — “Cartographic Grounds,” edited by Jill Desimini and Charles Waldheim, and “Mind the Map,” edited by Antonis Antoniou, Robert Klanten and Sven Ehmann

The stark white-on-black image on the cover of Cartographic Grounds: Projecting the Landscape Imaginary, edited by Jill Desimini and Charles Waldheim, is beautiful and mysterious. Is this Antarctica? Or somewhere within the Arctic Circle? The birthplace of icebergs perhaps? No, this map by Bureau Bas Smets has nothing to do with ice. It shows the delta that is formed by the many rivers meandering along the border between Holland and Belgium on their way to the North Sea. This is an example of a figure ground map in which everything else left out so that two elements — in this case, the black of the water and the white of the land — can be seen with hyper-clarity. Here, there is also one more piece of information displayed. There is, across the white of the land, a scattering of much less distinct splotches of gray which represent urbanized areas. This is a map that was created to help in the planning for the future development of this low-lying region where flooding has been a concern for centuries.   “Great dreams” More than 80 years ago, Gilbert Grosvenor, the longtime editor of National Geographic, said: “A map is the greatest of […]
July 11, 2016

Book review: “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis

I finish C.S. Lewis’ 1952 book Mere Christianity with great sadness, respect and hope. Across more than six decades, Lewis is talking to me and anyone else who will listen about his Christian faith. Those many years, nearly as long as my lifetime, seem a great chasm between Lewis and me — between his experience of the world and mine, between his experience of his faith and mine. That’s where the sadness comes in. Lewis writes, for instance, that “Selfishness has never been admired.” Yet, I live in a world in which, for a little more than $4, you can order a bumper sticker for your car to proclaim to the world your belief that “He who dies with the most toys wins.” He writes that “the Christian rule is, ‘Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.’ ” While I affirm the need for faithfulness in marriage, I cannot agree that, outside of marriage, total abstinence is the only choice. He writes that “Christian wives promise to obey their husbands. In Christian marriage, the man is said to be the ‘head,’ ” and then goes on to argue that this is only logical. I can’t […]
July 7, 2016

Book review: “Shaking Hands with Death” by Terry Pratchett

Shaking Hands with Death is a very small book, only 59 pages in length, and only 41 of those pages are the words of Terry Pratchett. The rest is taken up with an introduction in which Pratchett’s personal assistant Rob Wilkins explains how the book came to be. It is a sad story, lightened by Pratchett’s great humor and infused with his passion. Pratchett was the author of more than 50 comical fantasy novels, most centering on his imagined Discworld. He sold more than 85 million copies worldwide in 37 languages — or as he says in Shaking Hands with Death, “a very large number of inexplicably popular fantasy novels.” Then, in 2007, he learned that he was suffering from Post Cortical Atrophy (PCA), a rare version of Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 59, and he was very angry. Over the next eight years, he wrote and published eight major books, six of which were centered on Discworld. He died on March 12, 2015 at the age of 66.   “His fury” Shaking Hands with Death is the text of a televised address that, with the help of a friend, he gave on February 1, 2010, in which he described his […]
July 5, 2016

Trumpy McTrumpface by Thomas Pace and Patrick T. Reardon — Parts 1 and 2

PART ONE You’ve probably heard about how, in the United Kingdom, a joke got out of hand. The very prim and proper British Natural Environment Research Council came up with a stunt to get people interested in science, asking them to suggest names for a new, $288 million, state-of-the-art polar research vessel and then to vote on those names. It worked, and people started talking about names, including BBC radio personality James Hand who quipped that the vessel should be called “Boaty McBoatface.” Cue the laugh track. Except that the joke caught on, and the name was the top vote-getter. That’s the way it is with jokes. Sometimes, they get out of hand.   Egregious and embarrassing Like now, here, in the United States. You’ve heard the one, I’m sure, about the reality television star who becomes the Republican candidate for President of the United States? And they say conservatives don’t have a sense of humor. When Trumpy McTrumpface first suggested himself as a presidential nominee, the joke was obvious. In his inaugural campaign speech, McTrumpface made a number of comments that would automatically disqualify any serious presidential candidate. He has since made this his core strategy — spouting racist […]
July 1, 2016

Book review: “The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove” by Christopher Moore

“No! Bad dragon!” Molly, wielding a broadsword, has just saved two clueless church ladies from being eaten by Steve, a Sea Beast who, at the moment, looks like a mobile home. (Shape-changing is just one of Steve’s many talents.) Now, she’s chewing him out while trying to shoo the spacey women away. Yes, Christopher Moore’s The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove isn’t Moby Dick. Like Herman Melville’s masterpiece, this piece of merriment is centered around a largish fish. But, in Moore’s case, the fish is a huge, 5,000-year-old remnant of prehistory who eats whales for breakfast. Not only can he can swim in the sea and crawl on the land, but when the mood hits, he can become a she. Indeed, relatively recent, while he was a she, one of her (his?) babies — very ugly, even for a baby — was hooked by a couple of black blues singers. This resulted in one (who later, not surprisingly, was given the nickname Catfish) watching the other, Smiley (who, it must be admitted, wasn’t very good at channeling the blues, hence, the nickname), get eaten by the Sea Beast who, many decades later, was given the nickname Steve by Molly. Got […]
June 27, 2016

Essay: Hope and joy in this age of Trump

In this age of Trump, I find that, more and more, I’m thinking of my friends Neil, Ben and Jean. In this time of hate and fear-mongering, I want to tap into their hope and faith and joy for living. I’ve played basketball with Neil at the school gym at St. Gertrude parish on the Far North Side most Sundays for the last ten years, and, every once in a while, I feel the need to ask him his age. “Seventy-seven and a half.” That’s how he answered me recently after a couple hours on the court. We call our weekly Sunday afternoon pickup games “Geri-ball,” as in geriatrics. It’s for guys 35 and older although a number of fathers bring their teenage sons (and daughters) as well. (They’re great for handling fast breaks.) Many of us now are in our 50s or 60s, and we all want to be Neil when we grow up. Neil, who runs a lot of 5K races, is the oldest among us. He’s up and down the court with the rest of us and has a wicked outside shot. Sure, he’s slowed down a bit over the years. All of us have. But, when […]
June 23, 2016

Book review: “Practical Demonkeeping” by Christopher Moore

Okay. Christopher Moore is funny. Silly. Delightfully loopy. Practical Demonkeeping is the story of a man- and woman-eating demon named Catch who descends on the town of Pine Cove with his human master-slave Travis, a former seminarian who…, well, it’s complicated. The story also features Gian Hen Gian, the king of the genies, and enough wacky and goofy characters to fill an entire network schedule of weekly comedies. But these people deserve more than to be homogenized on TV. They deserve Moore, and he does his best by them. Yes, the plot of this comic novel is convoluted, to say the least. To make it into a movie, you’d have to cut out maybe two-thirds of it, and your problem would be to figure out which one-third you wanted to keep. It’s all pretty daffy.   Wonderfully odd But it wouldn’t work. Christopher Moore’s comedy is similar to that of Terry Pratchett — which isn’t to say they’re a lot alike. They are alike in the way their books hinge on their voices, their oddly wonderful and wonderfully odd way of looking at life. Several attempts have been made to convert Pratchett novels into movies, and all of them have […]
June 20, 2016

Book review: “Everything Explained That Is Explainable: On the Creation of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Celebrated Eleventh Edition, 1910-1911” by Denis Boyles

Pity the poor publisher. Knopf had a great manuscript on its hands from Denis Boyles, but how to market it? The solution was a book cover and title that were tantalizing in their seeming quaintness. The jacket is a sober red with images at the left side and right corners to give the appearance of the physical front of an old book. The text fonts are sober, but not too sober, as befit a title that hints at something not quite evident: Everything Explained That Is Explainable: On the Creation of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Celebrated Eleventh Edition, 1910-1911. The combination of the title and cover skate right to the edge of implying a book that would be terribly boring, but those words Everything Explained push the possible book-buyer in the other direction. We live in an age when attempts are made all the time to try to explain everything, but they never succeed. In our era, everything is in flux, and our understanding of everything is tentative. Is it good to be skinny or bad? How does the economy work? Whence Donald Trump? Whither democracy? The Boyles book is packaged in the hope that it will intrigue a potential reader […]
June 16, 2016

Book review: “Chicago: The Second City” by A.J. Liebling

A.J. Liebling, that caustic, sarcastic, witty New Yorker magazine writer, was no fan of Chicago as he made clear in his 1952 book Chicago: The Second City. Consider his sardonic description of the cityscape: Seen from the taxi, on the long ride in from the airport, the place looked slower, shabbier, and, in defiance of all chronology, older than New York. There was an outer-London dinginess to the streets; the low buildings, the industrial plants, and the railroad crossings at grade produced less the feeling of being in a great city than of riding through an endless succession of factory-town main streets. The transition to the Loop and its tall buildings was abrupt, like entering a walled city. I found it beguilingly medieval. Not that he was much taken with the Loop which, as a downtown, was too small and too congested for his taste: the heart of the city, as small in proportion of [the city’s] gross body as a circus fat lady’s. He much preferred New York and London with their theaters, stores, banks and office buildings “strung out” over an area a good five miles in length.   A good reporter Even so, Liebling was a very […]
June 9, 2016

Book review: “The Book of ‘Job’: A Biography” by Mark Larrimore

Job is one of the oddest books in the Bible — odd in a scary way, in an unsettling way, in a faith-shaking way. Job is a rich man who is a devout believer in God. But, up in heaven, one of the multitudes in attendance to the Most High — a being called a “satan” (an adversary, a kind of prosecuting attorney) who, in many interpretations, is identified as the Satan — tells the Lord that Job is only devout because he’s received so many blessings. This satan argues that Job will curse the Lord if he loses his blessings, so, as a test, God gives the satan permission to afflict the faithful follower in any way, except taking his life. So, the satan kills all of Job’s children and wipes away his wealth. Job responds: “The Lord has given, and the Lord takes away.” Then, the satan inflicts a terrible disease upon Job. But still the man remains steadfast in his faith in God. Then, a new worse affliction arrives — three friends who, in their turn, tell Job that he must be a great sinner to have suffered so much at God’s hand. Job, knowing his innocence, […]
June 8, 2016

Book review: “Your Friend Forever, A. Lincoln: The Enduring Friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed” by Charles B. Strozier with Wayne Soini

As 1840 drew to a close and during the first month of 1841, Abraham Lincoln was “crazy as a loon,” according to his law partner and biographer William Herndon. For the second time in Lincoln’s life, his friends feared that he would commit suicide. They “had to remove razors from his room — take away all Knives and other such dangerous things,” recalled his friend Joshua Speed. Twenty years later, in the White House, Lincoln himself referred to that time while discussing with Speed his pride at writing the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in Confederate-held territory: At the time of his deep depression he said to me that he had ‘done nothing to make any human being remember that he had lived,’ and that to connect his name with the events transpiring in his day and generation, and so impress himself upon them as to link his name with something that would redound to the interest of his fellow man, was what he desired to live for. He…said with earnest emphasis, “I believe that in this measure …my fondest hopes will be realized.”   His most important friendship No figure from U.S. history has been studied and analyzed and scrutinized […]
June 6, 2016

Book review: “The Serpent of Venice” by Christopher Moore

The diminutive and aptly named Pocket — court jester of the late lamented (and demented) King Lear of Britain and then consort to the (alas) also late Cordelia, Queen of France, England, Spain, etc., and her envoy to 13th-century Venice to block an effort to launch a Crusade to recapture Jerusalem and rain profits galore on greedy Venetian entrepreneurs — is having a bad day. A really bad day. After has spent weeks of trying to kill himself, a cabal of three said entrepreneurs is trying to do that for him. Not only that, but, first, they feel compelled to tell him that, no, his lovely and beloved Cordelia didn’t die of a fever — they poisoned her. And, now, having doped him with a spiked bottle of wine, they have strung him up by chains in a particularly awkward position on a wall over an open sewer in a deep subbasement of the home of one of the businessmen. Not only that, but, as he’s watched, one of them has taken the time to build a solid brick wall to enclose him in hidden space where he hangs in the soggy dark (the water level rises and falls with the […]
June 1, 2016

Book review: “How to Read the Bible” by Harvey Cox

In How to Read the Bible, influential Protestant theologian Harvey Cox tells about a Biblical scholar who was teaching a course in the books of Exodus and Joshua. The stories of the Israelites rising up out of slavery in Egypt and finding themselves a home in the Promised Land, she told the class, are celebrations of freedom and liberation. “Yes,” said one of her students, “but what about the Canaanites?” Ah, yes, those pesky Canaanites, the people who had been living on the land before the Israelites showed up and took it. And killed them. They were the Bible’s version of Native Americans.   “Gott mit uns” This is an example of the complexity of the Bible, a theme that the Harvard-based Cox emphasizes on virtually every page of his 2015 book. The book of Genesis, for instance, is very different from, say, the Psalms or the Acts of the Apostles. Some books, such as the Song of Songs, are poetry. Others, such as St. Paul’s Epistles, instruct the reader in how to live a good life. That’s not at all the point of the Book of Joshua which is an attempt by the Jewish people to understand their special […]
May 31, 2016

Book review: “Fool” by Christopher Moore

Pocket is a randy fool. That’s not a comment on his intelligence. It’s his job. Well, the fool part is. He’s a court jester. But not just any court jester. He’s the fool for King Lear, and Christopher Moore’s Fool (2009) is a retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear. But with laughs. There are certainly a lot of laughs in Fool which is not to say that the blood, gore, betrayal, eye-gouging, storm-raging and all those delightful aspects of the Bard’s play that you know and love are missing. Not at all. They’re there all right, as well as a violent backstory that Moore has developed that involves rape and rape — those royals have something of a one-track mind — and the walling-up of an inconvenient relative. Oh, and a goodly number of bastards. And the witches from Macbeth, and lines from The Merchant of Venice and other sacred Shakespeare works. And even reference to that great work Green Eggs and Hamlet.   Full-blooded slapstick But you’re not going to want to read Fool for Moore’s literary analysis. You’ll want it for its full-blooded, slapstick depiction of life in a 13th century Britain, filled with a doddering old ruler, a […]
May 25, 2016

Book review: “Some Recollections of a Busy Life” by T. S. Hawkins, with an introduction by Dave Eggers

T.S. Hawkins was enamored of the ability of some men to make a bull whip crack like a pistol and keep a team of oxen in order. Accordingly, he watched them closely and figured he’d caught on to the trick. [S]o giving my whip a mighty twirl through the air, I brought it back just as they did, but instead of the wonderful report I was expecting, the lash coiled itself a half-dozen times around my neck. At first I felt sure it had taken my head off, but when I found it still on, I carefully unwound the lash and swore a mighty oath never, never to try again. Hawkins tells this story in Some Recollections of a Busy Life which he published privately in 1913 and now has been reissued by McSweeney’s with an introduction by Dave Eggers, his great-great grandson. Eggers is to be thanked for giving this book new life, but I wish he hadn’t repurposed a New Yorker essay of his as the book’s 27-page introduction. It keeps the reader from getting to Hawkins right away, steals a bit of his forebear’s thunder and isn’t always accurate. For instance, when Hawkins was growing up, his […]
May 23, 2016

Book review: “The Ages of Lulu” by Almudena Grandes, translated by Sonia Soto

What’s striking about the 1989 erotic novel The Ages of Lulu by Spanish writer Almudena Grandes is how old-fashioned it is. Yes, yes, there are all those sex scenes in which the Lulu of the title is involved in dizzying combinations of coupling. And tripling. And so on. But it’s a story with a good old-fashioned moral. Actually three of them: First, husband (who is a brother figure and a father figure) knows best. Second, an adult woman left to her own devices who chases sex for pleasure is going to end up in ruins. Third, a woman just wants to be treated like a child.   “Innocence” On the final page of the novel, after Lulu has been saved by her husband from a fate worse than death or, at least, pretty bad — a dominatrix was coming at Lulu with a red-hot hook to do some mischief Pablo’s troops arrived — she is back in his bed, recovering from the welts and bruises of her final foray alone into the forbidden. I tried to pretend I was fast asleep but my lips gradually curled into a smile of newly recovered innocence. That’s not innocence as in purity. It’s innocence […]
May 17, 2016

Book review: “The Looking Glass War” by John le Carre

Published in 1965, John le Carre’s spy novel The Looking Glass War arrived at and helped bring about the beginning of the end of romantic notions about our spies being better than their spies in terms of morality and righteousness. No one pretends to believe such notions today, more than half a century later. And no one is surprised when, yet again, the sins of one side’s spies are exposed and seem pretty much as bad as the sins of the other side. Choose your poison. The Looking Glass War is a novel of profound disillusionment, As a spy in the book says before leaving on his assignment, operating during the cold war is much different than it was operating in World War II: “Nobody wins this one, do they?”   “Discover God” This is a novel of questions which, at their heart, all come down to: Why do we do it? There is, throughout the book, a lust for a faith that will not tarnish, as in this scene in which the group leader is outlining the plans of an operation: Avery knew he would never forget that morning, how they had sat at the farmhouse table like sprawling […]
May 16, 2016

Book review: “Daybreak — 2250 A.D.” by Andre Norton

I wish I could say that Daybreak – 2250 A.D. by Andre Norton has great literary merit. But it doesn’t. It was one of the first novels in the aftermath of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to grapple with the idea of what the world would look like after a global nuclear war. But it’s overlooked and ignored now, although it helped pave the way for scores of books and films that came after, such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I could tell you that, to my mind, it’s the best of the more than 200 novels that Norton published during her 93-year-long life. But that doesn’t say a lot. She was never much of a stylist. No, I love Daybreak – 2250 A.D. because it’s a captivating adventure story with psychological themes that resonated deeply with me when I first read it in 1960 at the age of 10 and that still resonate with me when I re-read the book every few years or so. I refuse to call this a guilty pleasure.  Although no literary gem, it’s not a bad book. It’s a good book.   Opened a door Maybe you have a […]
May 14, 2016

Meditation: The Poem of Pentecost

Picture this: Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit, tongues of fire and the followers of Jesus going out into the world to proclaim the good news. A large crowd gathers, but the people are confused because they’re not confused. Everyone can understand what’s being said, and they respond with a kind of poem of wonder: We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God. The good news transcends the barriers of language. It rises above the blockades of fear. And, today, we are the preachers and we are the listeners: We are Chileans, Iraqis, and Poles, inhabitants of Canada, Ghana and France, Laos and Russia, Norway and Nigeria, Israel and the districts of Argentina near Buenos Aires, as well as travelers from Ireland, both Christians and converts to Christianity, Lebanese and Americans, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God. With faith, we are all […]
May 12, 2016

Book review: “SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome” by Mary Beard

One night in Asculum in 91 BC, the crowd at the theater was made up of Romans and people from the town and other parts of Italy that were allied with Rome. That alliance, though, was fraying, and a four-year conflict, known as the Social War or the War of the Allies, was about to break out. Tensions were high. One comic performer took the stage, and, as was his schtick, he made fun of Rome. Bad move. The Romans in the audience got so mad that they attacked him on stage. And killed him. Then, it was the turn of the next comic to come out, a comic whose routine, a great favorite of Roman audiences, ridiculed the country bumpkins outside of city. Fearing that the other part of the theater crowd would take out their own anger on him, he pleaded: “I’m not a Roman either. I travel throughout Italy searching for favors by making people laugh and giving pleasure. So spare the swallow, which the gods allow to nest safely in all your houses!” It worked. The comic did his act and survived. But there was a bloody postscript, as Mary Beard writes in SPQR: A History […]
May 10, 2016

Book review: “Sor Juana’s Love Poems/Poemas De Amor” by Sor Juana Ines de La Cruz, translated by Joan Larkin & Jaime Manrique

On one of the first pages of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Dolly Oblonsky is packing to leave her womanizing husband and is described as taking something out of an open chest of drawers. That’s how one translation has it, but, while researching a story about translations for the Chicago Tribune, I had occasion to compare this scene in six English language versions of the masterpiece. What I found was that other translators identified this piece of furniture differently — variously, as an open bureau, as an open wardrobe, and as an open chiffonier. In the original Russian, it was the same word, but it was transformed into English in these four different ways. Translation is always a dicey proposition. Talk to translators, and they’ll tell you that it’s an art, not a science. It’s not a mathematical equation but an interpretation. And, if one Russian word for a piece of furniture can result in such varied responses by translators, how much greater variance is implicit in the translation of poetry? For instance, how would one translate The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot into another language? Orthese lines from Gerard Manley Hopkins: I caught this morning morning’s minion, king- dom of […]
May 3, 2016

Book review: “The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation” by Natalie Y. Moore

In The South Side, WBEZ reporter Natalie Y. Moore examines the myriad ways in which the lives of African-Americans in the Chicago region are limited, constrained, stifled and lessened by segregation. She focuses on her home territory of the city’s South Side where she grew up, went to school and now lives, but her analysis fits the West Side as well. It’s also relevant for the other portions of the seven-county metropolitan area where blacks live concentrated together and set apart, particularly many near western and near southern suburbs. And, of course, for much of the nation, as her subtitle A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation notes. Segregation [Moore writes] is crippling because it’s the common denominator in innumerable challenges in black communities, from housing to jobs to food access to education to violence. Moore tells the history of how racial segregation came about here and considers a variety of ways through which it might be reversed. Much of what she describes has been detailed many times before by social scientists, by newspaper reporters and by groups, such as the Chicago Urban League, devoted to better race relations.   Back in the local conversation What’s particularly important about The […]
April 29, 2016

Book review: “First Love” & “Look for My Obituary,” two novellas by Elena Garro

The first love in Elena Garro’s novella First Love isn’t exactly what you might expect. For one thing, it isn’t about teenagers nor about the sweaty, fevered lust that love can be. For another, it involves Siegfried, a 20-year-old German prisoner-of-war, still in custody after the recently ended World War II, and Barbara, who is at least 30 and has her daughter, maybe 10, who is walking near the two when the discussion of first love takes place. Indeed, it is from the daughter’s point of view that the scene unfolds this way: Suddenly, she glanced back and saw the outline of Siegfried and her mother as they shone brilliantly against the darkness, as if a halo circled around their blond hair and their golden bodies tanned by the sun. They were very far behind… “Barbara, you are my first love,” said Siegfried, with eyes cast down, as his friends walked far ahead. “And you are the first person to love me,” Barbara answers, almost ashamed, as she stood in front of that young man who looked upon her with such intensity.” Siegfried is one of seven German POWs whom Barbara and her daughter, also named Barbara, have befriended in […]
April 28, 2016

Poem: beard

winter afternoon in the classroom a half-sleep the nun speaks and rests the eight-year-olds bow heads over loose leaf write in the row along the windows in the second to last desk a boy done early melts crayons on the ripple of the radiator redblueyellowgreen and on loose leaf draws side views of Lincoln in a world of clean-shaven men nosesuittieeyeshair and black beard nosesuittieeyeshair and black beard nosesuittieeyeshair and black beard nosesuittieeyeshair and black beard a psalm to the future redblueyellowgreen nine years later, grows a beard red-brown now white Patrick T. Reardon 4.28.16 This poem was originally published by Silver Birch Press on 3.7.2016.
April 26, 2016

Book review: “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis

On Christmas Day, 1937, the family of Doremus Jessup is enjoying a festive afternoon in their Vermont home with friends, including shop-owner Louis Rotenstern, a Jewish bachelor. Suddenly, there’s a loud knocking at the door, and five white-uniformed paramilitary Minute Men tromp in to take Rotenstern away to a concentration camp. This scene occurs about two-thirds of the way through Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here. Already, Lewis has described how Senator Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, an entertainingly folksy, fun-poking Democrat has bested Franklin D. Roosevelt for the party’s nomination and then won the White House in 1936. As president, Windrip has moved quickly to reorganize the government and impose strict controls on citizens as “emergency” measures, granting official status and wide latitude to the Minute Men. The government has been redefined as a totalitarian Corporate State, with all traditional parties eliminated. Lewis writes: There was to be only one: The American Corporate State and Patriotic Party — no! added the President, with something of his former good-humor: “there are two parties, the Corporate and those who don’t belong to any party at all, and so, to use a common phrase, are just out of luck!”   Anywhere Now, less […]