Some people just want to watch the world burn. Others make a really good living starting fires or pouring gasoline on them.

Don’t let them do your thinking for you.

Be the light.

Books of 2021: Hillbilly Elegy

JD Vance’s book about his broken Appalachian family may be remembered as the last good and honest thing Vance ever did for his country. It is difficult today to separate the author of this book from the politician, but separate it we must.

Without claiming for the memoir any academic merit, nor confirming Vance’s implication that his family’s story was exemplary of white poverty, his book helped me see and understand the dire cycle into which poverty pulls its victims. I suspect I am not alone, and for that, the book deserves to be recognized and a renewed effort to address poverty in America at its uncomfortable roots begun.

Books of 2021: A Promised Land

This is the first volume of what promises to be a two-volume presidential memoir. I decided to order the audiobook for this one, and no regrets: whatever opinions you hold about Barack Hussein Obama and his presidency, he has an orator’s voice. Given the man and tone of the memoir, I cannot imagine experiencing it any differently.

Like most presidents, Obama has a complex legacy, and I would argue that those of us not otherwise disposed to pillory or lionize him have put off an honest analysis of that legacy until such time as criticism may not seem to offer undue comfort and legitimacy to the forces of fascism in this country. Until then, we shall gather our string, take our notes, and listen to Mr. Obama deliver his side of the story.

Blog at

Up ↑