'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Turnip Day 

Go read Thomas Frank ripping apart Joe Klein's new book ... too good to excerpt.

I've always liked Thomas Frank. In the nineties I used to often buy political journals at random. Sometimes they would turn out to be rightwing which is how I became fascinated with the neoconservative movement, but sometimes they would turn out to be great things like Thomas Frank's The Baffler, alas, apparently no longer around. The Baffler was a wonderful creation; full of pieces you'd never read anywhere else, laments for Nelson Algren's Chicago at a time in which its bobo-ization was becoming complete and other antidotes to the pro-market hysteria of the mid-nineties.

Anyway, Thomas Frank's fortune has changed. He's no longer the editor of an obscure journal, because What's the Matter with Kansas? was released at a lucky moment, a moment of Democratic self-doubt and navel-gazing about the blue state/red state divide. Frank has become a bigtime second- or third-tier pundit, but make no mistake he's one of us -- it's just that because of a historical accident he hasn't been quite relegated to the shabby little hard leftist table of the media universe.

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