On the cover of today’s New York Times Book Review is a review of EVIL GENIUSES: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History By Kurt Andersen that has sold me on the book.
It begins ..
It used to be called the New World. Now it’s run by a man who wants to make it great “again.” Sometime between then and now, the writer Kurt Andersen argues in his essential, absorbing, infuriating, full-of-facts-you-didn’t-know, saxophonely written new book, America lost one of its “defining” traits: “openness to the new,” ....
I’m not even going to look up the word, saxophonely, because if David Perry isn’t able to answer that, may his name live on in ignominy.
Many others “… have told versions of this story before. And at first, while reading “Evil Geniuses,” that annoyed me. Until I understood what this book really is: Andersen’s retrospective on the bigger themes and trend lines and power grabs that he, and so many others, missed, even as he was writing magazine stories about the people and institutions in question. The book is an intellectual double take, a rereporting of the great neoliberal conquest, by a writer who kicks himself for missing it at the time.”
I’ll leave it to you to read the review and join me in ordering a copy from Epilogue Books.