By Alexander Cockburn
Alexander Cockburn used to be with no query probably the most influential reporters of his iteration, whose writing stems from the simplest culture of Mark Twain, H.L. Menchken and Tom Paine. Colossal Wreck, his ultimate paintings, comprehensive almost immediately sooner than his loss of life 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, masking approximately twenty years of yank tradition and politics, he explores matters as diverse because the intercourse lifetime of invoice Clinton and the way to cook dinner wild turkey. He stands up for the rights of prisoners on dying row and exposes the chicanery of the media and the duplicity of the political elite. As he pursues a serpentine direction in the course of the country, he charts the fortunes of associates, recognized kin, and sworn enemies alike to hilarious effect.
This is an exhilarating journey during the reefs and shoals of politics and daily life. Combining a fondness for the areas, the foodstuff and the folk he encountered on dozens of cross-country trips, Cockburn experiences again over seventeen years of tumultuous switch between what he affectionately known as the “thousand landscapes” of the United States.
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Additional info for A Colossal Wreck: A Road Trip Through Political Scandal, Corruption, And American Culture
Is conditioned by economic and political structures, as well as by pre-existing modes of understanding, etc. In one sense, it should be pointed out, any notion of structuration involves a certain ‘materialism’ because any recognition of the structure–agency interaction presupposes that social relations, structures, figurations – whichever term one prefers – are real, that they have objective or material existence. The principle of structuration presup- General Theoretical Issues 25 poses a realist ontology – but in such an ontology ideas are no less real than politics or economy.
Yet others would prefer a combination of language and communication, social organization and the development of human work, in interaction with each other as the fundamental principle, and let it depend on scientific enquiry into the origins and history of humankind to further develop and specify this insight (Beaken 1996). My perspective is along the last-mentioned lines. It maintains a materialist perspective in the sense that it sees all aspects of human life as increasingly differentiated moments in an entire cycle of reproduction; a cycle that is, and always has been, based on ‘the metabolism with nature’, as Marx called it.
Second, however, the situation is different concerning longer-term and aggregate perspectives. Here it makes more sense to pose questions about the relative weight and significance of the various factors, but again, at first sight there are no easy solutions here either. If we identify important ideational factors as causes behind major societal changes, we can always go one step further back and look for the economic conditions that made those ideas possible. But then it is also possible to retract yet another step in search of the ideas and advances in human knowledge that made the economic changes in question possible.