Friday, August 17, 2018

Dear Great Book Guru,  My family and I are planning a vacation on Martha’s Vineyard next week and I would like to suggest a book we could all read and then discuss.  I think non-fiction might work best.  Any ideas? 
Family Book Discussion Devotee
Dear Family Book Devotee,  I have a wonderful book your will love and enjoying discussing: FANTASYLAND by  Kurt Anderson.  Anderson gives us a sweeping history of America from the 1500’s until the present time- coming to the startling conclusion that Americans have always been drawn  to fantasy. Starting with our reverence for our Puritan forefathers who pledged to take down Quakers, Catholics, and most other Protestants, followed quickly by the myth- making of George Washington’s cherry tree escapades, our fellow countrymen and women have reveled in the magical, the pseudoscience, the great con.  Having been founded by dissident zealots, America became home to many fantastical religions, conspiracy theorists, and truth benders.  Anderson names Buffalo Bill Cody as the exemplar of this credo.  Cody toured the country fake-scalping actors playing warrior chiefs and then actually began killing real warrior chiefs while in costume.   Later generations were taken with UFO sightings and diabolical interventions.  He also questions the increasing infantilization of Americans  and the increased interest in fantasy versus reality.   Finally, we have to ask ourselves, what will the American people accept as truth?   Recommended!   

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