In a book that is at once deeply personal and intellectually savvy, this is a celebration of liberalism as the "politics of kindness." In his inimitable style, Keillor draws on a lifetime of experience amongst the hardworking, God-fearing people of the Midwest and pays homage to the common code of civic necessities that arose from the left.In a book that is at once deeply personal and intellectually savvy, this is a celebration of liberalism as the "politics of kindness." In his inimitable style, Keillor draws on a lifetime of experience amongst the hardworking, God-fearing people of the Midwest and pays homage to the common code of civic necessities that arose from the left.Read Less
I thoroughly enjoyed the book on CD and listed to it a couple of times on a long car trip. It is divided into chapters so you can listen to it consecutively or just the chapters you want to hear again. This is my second experience with a book on CD and I had forgotten how enjoyable they can be to listen to as a "captive" audience. Garrison Keillor scores big with this one. If you enjoy "A Prairie Home Companion" on the radio you will love this, especially if you are a Democrat!
Publishers Weekly, 2004-10-04 Characteristically soothing and lyrical, Keillor's voice takes on an almost preachy tone in this polemic against the "hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills" that he feels populate the Republican party. Though Democrats will laud the points he scores against the Bush administration and Republicans in general, Keillor's presentation suffers from too much emotion, coupled with a more rigid adherence to the script than he usually observes in his Lake Wobegon stories (A Prairie Home Companion, etc.). One of the audiobook's joys comes when Keillor uses multi-syllabic, pleasingly perverse language ? la Charles Dickens to convey the deeds of Republicans, whom he views as slimy, odious characters working to fashion a world where people live in fear, only venturing out of their homes in giant cars to gather supplies in the nearest mall. Keillor's trademark dreaminess resurfaces, however, when he returns to familiar ground and offers up his Minnesota boyhood as a case study of the benefits of voting for the Democratic ticket. Kind but strict parents and a decent public education all served Keillor well, and he sees these things as a cure-all for society's ills. Though this one-size-fits-all answer won't sit well with some listeners, Keillor's likeminded fans will enjoy hearing his passionate take on politics. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Forecasts, June 21). (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2004-06-21 His Minnesota boyhood and the putative values of his state allow novelist and NPR favorite Keillor to conjure up a heartwarming case for liberalism, if not necessarily the Democratic Party platform. "[T]he social compact is still intact here," he writes of life in St. Paul, summing up attacks on that compact in a Menckenesque rant: "hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists...." Liberalism, Keillor declares, "is the politics of kindness," and he traces his own ideology to his kindly aunts and his access to good public education, including a land-grant university. Though he criticizes Democrats for losing touch with their principles, as when they support the drug war, he catalogues "What Do-Gooder Democrats Have Done for You," from civil rights to clean air, though he acknowledges, "The great hole in the compact is health care." "The good democrat," he declares, distrusts privilege and power, believes in equality, supports unions, and is individualist-"identity politics is Pundit Speak," he notes, which might get him in trouble with some interest groups. "Democrats are thought to be weak on foreign policy... but what we fear is arrogance," he writes, in a chapter notably short on prescription. Near the end, he offers another potent monologue, if not a rant, about September 11 and Bush's "Achtung Department" (aka Homeland Security). It doesn't all hang together-heck, Keillor's so loosy-goosey, he begins most chapters with a limerick-but call this Prairie Home Companion meets Air America. (On sale July 19) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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