A Cry from the Far Middle: Dispatches from a Divided Land

A Cry from the Far Middle: Dispatches from a Divided Land

by P. J. O'Rourke
A Cry from the Far Middle: Dispatches from a Divided Land

A Cry from the Far Middle: Dispatches from a Divided Land

by P. J. O'Rourke


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Observations on the present political moment, and the discord that defines it, from the best man for the job: bestselling author and acclaimed satirist P.J. O’Rourke

P. J. O’Rourke says we’ve worked ourselves into a state of anger and perplexity, and it’s no surprise because perplexed and angry are what Americans have been since the Roanoke Colony got lost. This astute and entertaining look at the state of these United States includes essays on everything from our fraught history (“Oh Beautiful for . . . Pilgrim Feet?”) to the political effects of social media, (“Whose Bright Idea Was It to Make Sure that Every Idiot in the World Is in Touch with Every Other Idiot?”). A plan is advanced to reform federal poverty programs, “Just Give Them the Money.” And a rant is made against the “Internet of Things” because your juicer is sending fake news to your Fitbit about what’s in your refrigerator.

Included is a quiz to determine whether you’re a “Coastal” or a “Heartlander” (you know organic, fair-traded, locavore, and gluten-free, but do you know hay from straw?), an impassioned plea to license politicians (we license beauticians!), and much more. This is P. J. at his finest.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802157737
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 09/15/2020
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 802,964
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

P. J. O’Rourke has written nineteen books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. Parliament of Whores and Give War a Chance both reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. He is a regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me,a contributing writer for the Washington Post editorial page, and the editor in chief of the free web magazine American Consequences. He lives in rural New England, as far away from the things he writes about as he can get.

Table of Contents

Pre-Preface: xi

As We Go to Press …

Preface: Manifesto for Extreme Moderation xv

Introduction: O Beautiful for … Pilgrim Feet? 1

One Nation-Divided as Hell 25

Coastals vs. Heartlanders 27

Goodbye to Classical Liberalism … "It's the End of the World!" 39

Big Fat Politics 51

But Thank You Anyway, Partisan Politicians 61

Robin Hood Arithmetic 67

On the Other Hand … Just Give Them the Money 73

It's Time to Make Rich People Uncomfortable Again 77

Negative Rights vs. Positive Rights It's Positively Confusing 81

Sympathy vs. Empathy Is It Better to Hold People's Hands or Bust into Their Heads? 85

Patriotism vs. Nationalism 91

Big Brother (and Everybody Else) Is Watching You Thoughts on Rereading 1984 97

Whose Bright Idea Was It to Make Sure That Every Idiot in the World Was in Touch with Every Other Idiot? 103

A Brief Historical Digression on How Communication Has Devolved 109

And While I'm Ranting Against the Digital Age Let Me Not Forget to Excoriate an Aspect of Social Media that Lacks Even Sociability … On the Fresh Hell of The Internet of Things 113

Lessons in Fake News from Two Old Masters of the Form 119

Woke to the Sound of Laughter 123

Why Kids &Cyrund; Commies And Never Mind How the Free Market Bankrupted that Backwards R Big Box Store that Once Held a Greedy Monopoly on Selling Toys 129

Knowing Write from Left 137

Educating My Kids 145

My Own Lousy Education And How it May Be of Aid to the Nation 151

What We Can Learn from the Sixties Drug Culture 157

Can the Government Be Run Like a Business? 165

Two, Four, Six, Eight, Who Do We Appreciate … The Electoral College! 169

Is a Reasonable, Sensible, Moderate Foreign Policy Even Possible? 175

The Inaugural Address I'd Like To Hear the President-Whoever It May Be-Deliver 183

My Own Personal Fantasy League Presidential Election 189

A License to Drive (Me Crazy) 195

The Founding Fathers Have Some Words With Us 201

What I Like About U.(S.A.) 211

Acknowledgments 221

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