Download A Colossal Wreck: A Road Trip Through Political Scandal, by Alexander Cockburn PDF

By Alexander Cockburn

Alexander Cockburn used to be with no query the most influential newshounds of his new release, whose writing stems from the simplest culture of Mark Twain, H.L. Menchken and Tom Paine. Colossal Wreck, his ultimate paintings, complete almost immediately prior to his dying in July 2012, exemplifies the prodigious literary brio that made Cockburn’s name.

Whether ruthlessly exposing Beltway hypocrisy, pricking the pomposity of these in strength, or tirelessly protecting the rights of the oppressed, Cockburn by no means pulled his punches and regularly landed a blow the place it mattered. during this panoramic paintings, overlaying approximately twenty years of yank tradition and politics, he explores matters as different because the intercourse lifetime of invoice Clinton and tips on how to cook dinner wild turkey. He stands up for the rights of prisoners on demise row and exposes the chicanery of the media and the duplicity of the political elite. As he pursues a serpentine course throughout the state, he charts the fortunes of associates, recognized kinfolk, and sworn enemies alike to hilarious effect.

This is an exciting journey in the course of the reefs and shoals of politics and daily life. Combining a keenness for the areas, the meals and the folks he encountered on dozens of cross-country trips, Cockburn studies again over seventeen years of tumultuous switch between what he affectionately known as the “thousand landscapes” of the United States.

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Extra resources for A Colossal Wreck: A Road Trip Through Political Scandal, Corruption, And American Culture

Example text

It is Worthy's decision not to stand for reelection to the House of Burgesses that allows a host of obviously less-qualified claimants to enter the contest. Wou'dbe is a gentry man who shares Worthy's genteel and statesmanlike view of the role of a political representative, but who does not quite match his colleague's exalted social standing. In past years Wou'dbe had represented his county alongside Worthy, but the determination of Worthy to retire has the effect not only of opening up the contest for his own seat but also of encouraging new aspirants for the seat occupied by the more vulnerable Wou'dbe.

The first step in this joining of interests was to ask his friend Colonel James Wood, the founder and leading citizen of Winchester, the Frederick County seat, to appear at the election on his behalf and personally thank the voters for their suffrages. He also made certain not only that he had the support of other men of influence in the election but also that those influential men displayed their support for him in a timely fashion. At the election itself there were four candidates contesting the county's two seats in the assembly.

As we will see, on most occasions in the eighteenth century the potential American electorate remained somnolent. Some of that sleepiness was the consequence of their provincialism and insularity, their unconcern about public affairs beyond their own family or farm or immediate locality. Some was also the consequence of simple habit; though possessing personal independence and armed with the franchise, few had any strong notion about what to do with it. Occasionally, however, and in a few places, when they awakened from their slumber, they did discover some of the latent power that they possessed—power ultimately capable of shaking mighty empires.

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