The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Cultureby David Mamet, Johnny Heller
For the past thirty years, David Mamet has been a controversial and defining force in theater and film, championing the most cherished liberal values along the way. In some of the great movies and plays of our time, his characters have explored the ethics of the business world, embodied the struggles of the oppressed, and faced the flaws of the capitalist… See more details below
For the past thirty years, David Mamet has been a controversial and defining force in theater and film, championing the most cherished liberal values along the way. In some of the great movies and plays of our time, his characters have explored the ethics of the business world, embodied the struggles of the oppressed, and faced the flaws of the capitalist system.But in recent years Mamet has had a change of heart. He realized that the so-called mainstream media outlets he relied on were irredeemably biased, peddling a hypocritical and deeply flawed worldview. In 2008 he wrote a hugely controversial op-ed for the Village Voice, "Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal,'" in which he methodically eviscerated liberal beliefs. Now he goes much deeper, employing his trademark intellectual force and vigor to take on all the key political and cultural issues of our times, from religion to political correctness to global warming.Mamet pulls no punches in his art or in his politics. And as a former liberal who woke up, he will win over an entirely new audience of others who have grown irate over America's current direction.
A Pulitzer Prize–winning showman and "reformed Liberal" rants about the precarious state of the nation.
In 39 short essays, playwright, screenwriter and director Mamet (Theatre, 2010) discusses many of his least-favorite things, including taxes, sloth, foreign aid, the notion of global warming, big government, taxes, the present Democratic administration, liberals, taxes and "social justice" (quotes his).Did we mention taxes? With the mood of serious discussion, the author weights this jeremiad with stilted argot and copious footnotes that are simply more of the same arguments in reduced typeface. But Mamet is sharper than the conventional scold, and, like his most memorable stage characters, he offers a mashup of notions, some commendable, supported by reference to very selective history. Unabashed in making blanket, unfounded assertions, the gifted dramatist erects nincompoop straw men easily demolished with clever, impassioned rhetoric. Detection of undeniable flaws in liberal logic, rightly derided, gives way to ad hominemargument,post hocreasoning and faulty classification—it's disputation, not evidence. In a monolithic, elitist Left—one surely not as cohesive and close-minded as Mamet depicts, one more liable to agree with him on, say, the benefits of capitalism (albeit, perhaps, with more legal safeguards—he sees hypocrisy. Surely, community values and the unfettered marketplace of ideas are important to liberal and conservative alike. Sweetened with personal history, a couple good jokes and some pointed insights, Mamet's polemic yields no secret and scant knowledge. He does, nevertheless, raise the volume with incontestable dramatic talent.
A Manichean analysis from a strident new voice from the Right—for liberals, something intended to ignite antagonism; for the like-minded, a buttress against the opposition.
- Tantor Media, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Unabridged CD
- Product dimensions:
- 5.60(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.10(d)
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Meet the Author
David Mamet 's Glengarry Glen Ross won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1984. He is also the author of Writing in Restaurants and On Directing Film, both available from Penguin.
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