The New America

Mark Little, Author . New Island $27.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-84840-012-2

The dramatic growth of “boomburbs”—enormous suburbs mushrooming in the American Southwest—frames this outsider's look at the changing political, social and civic culture of 21st-century America. Little, a former correspondent for the Irish RTE network, builds the book around personal vignettes drawn from research he conducted in the region in 2007 and 2008. The author takes snapshots of a number of current hot topics—the rise of the media-savvy “Millennial generation,” immigration and the subprime mortgage crisis—without delving into any single subject in excessive detail. Little's observations of a congregation led by a former Microsoft employee–turned–pastor illuminate evangelical religious life, while the different Democratic primary positions taken by a father and son, both Texas politicians, reflect generational attitudes toward Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Little's unifying thesis is that boomburb culture represents the competing American impulses of individualism, represented by the frontier, and community. Writing originally for an Irish audience, Little sometimes strains in his attempt to make sweeping generalizations about America's generational shift. The book closes before the 2008 presidential election and the recession, and as a result, its cautiously optimistic story feels incomplete. (June)

Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 285 pages - 978-1-934848-90-6
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-1-934848-89-0
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