The 1988 presidential campaign serves as Erickson's springboard for a quirky free-floating meditation on the bankruptcy of American politics. He berates the Right for ``false faith'' and for grossly deforming the conservative tradition; he chides the Left for too often hating its own country. The apocalyptic tone and surreal techniques of his novels ( Tours of the Black Clock , etc.) find their way into this campaign jaunt: pursuing Bush, Dukakis, Hart, Jackson et al., he keeps running into the specter of Sally Hemings, the slave of Thomas Jefferson. Hemings, in this narrative, is Jefferson's sex partner; her torrid confessions are intended to highlight the statesman's moral failure and white America's tendency to self-betrayal. Erickson also rambles about the ``nuclear imagination,'' an ability to stare into the abyss, but he is most effective delivering scathing attacks on nearly all the 1988 presidential contenders and on the Bush administration. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989 Release date: 10/01/1989 Genre: Nonfiction
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