Blues for America Blues for America: A Critique, a Lament, and Some Memories a Critique, a Lament, and Some Memories

Douglas Fitzgerald Dowd, Author, Doug Dowd, Author Monthly Review Press $48 (392p) ISBN 978-0-85345-981-1
Dowd, a radical economics professor who teaches at Johns Hopkins, has written a notably odd book. Much of it is a left-oriented economic and political history of the U.S. since WWI, relying on secondary sources. Dowd also inserts personal recollections, portraits and journalistic sidebars into the text and, increasingly, as the book proceeds, begins inserting his own stories into the main narrative. Because there are countless more coherent critiques of this American century, Dowd might better have concentrated on a more conventional memoir. He certainly has had memorable experiences, beginning with his WWII service, where he observed gratuitous murder, and the birth of the Cold War. Though he stresses that he had not favored the electoral aims of the Peace & Freedom Party, Dowd agreed to serve as running mate in the group's fledgling 1968 presidential campaign of Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver. He also reports a bizarre meeting with H. Ross Perot in 1970 in Indochina, as their paths crossed in peace/POW crusades. Born in 1919, the still-outraged author aims to criticize ""the spread and deepening of greed and racism""; he concludes by arguing for a third political party to seek a society with greater equality and freedom. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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Paperback - 377 pages - 978-0-85345-982-8
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