Beautiful Country Burn Again Summary and Reviews

Beautiful Country Burn Again

Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution

by Ben Fountain

Beautiful Country Burn Again by Ben Fountain X
Beautiful Country Burn Again by Ben Fountain

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About this book

Book Summary

In a sweeping work of reportage set over the course of 2016, New York Times bestselling author Ben Fountain recounts a surreal year of politics and an exploration of the third American existential crisis.

Twice before in its history, the United States has been faced with a crisis so severe it was forced to reinvent itself in order to survive: first, the struggle over slavery, culminating in the Civil War, and the second, the Great Depression, which led to President Roosevelt's New Deal and the establishment of America as a social-democratic state. In a sequence of essays that excavate the past while laying bare the political upheaval of 2016, Ben Fountain argues that the United States may be facing a third existential crisis, one that will require a "burning" of the old order as America attempts to remake itself.

Beautiful Country Burn Again narrates a shocking year in American politics, moving from the early days of the Iowa Caucus to the crystalizing moments of the Democratic and Republican national conventions, and culminating in the aftershocks of the weeks following election night. Along the way, Fountain probes deeply into history, illuminating the forces and watershed moments of the past that mirror and precipitated the present, from the hollowed-out notion of the American Dream, to Richard Nixon's southern strategy, to our weaponized new conception of American exceptionalism, to the cult of celebrity that gave rise to Donald Trump.

In an urgent and deeply incisive voice, Ben Fountain has fused history and the present day to paint a startling portrait of the state of our nation. Beautiful Country Burn Again is a searing indictment of how we came to this point, and where we may be headed.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Whip-smart and searching in its indictment of cant and falsity, this is perhaps the best portrait yet of an astounding election." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Pithy and profound... Fountain's mix of salient lessons from the past and essential guideposts for the future is a must-have addition to the 'how did we get here' canon of political scrutiny in and of the age of Trump." - Booklist

"While some readers may not agree with all of his conclusions, the author's masterful original phrasings make the book worthwhile, urgent, and timely." - Kirkus

"Sometimes it takes a novelist to capture a world gone mad...With clarity of mind and the most observant of eyes, Fountain gives us a memorable and unique portrait of...an American moment which is likely to shape us for far longer than any of us would like to contemplate." - Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels

"A masterpiece of a book, the true story of American possibility...So smart, so funny, so well-researched, so brilliantly argued, so scathing and at times shaming and, most of all, morally honest...I hope every word will find its way into the coarsening minds and hearts of every American." - David Finkel, author of Thank You For Your Service

"Here is a quirky truth teller, a creative, who is attempting to steer America on a path that will bring some goodness to the most of us. Beautiful Country Burn Again is...written with a novelist's skill of heart and with a researcher's expertise." - Tiphanie Yanique, author of Land of Love and Drowning

"The force and beauty of Fountain's writing, his clear-eyed fury, his commitment to what is great about the American idea, make for exhilarating reading. A book for right now, and for all the fires next time." - Alma Guillermoprieto, author of Dancing with Cuba: A Memoir of the Revolution

"The author covers events much like an especially woke journalist... For most readers, Fountain will offer fresh insights...The author's masterful original phrasings make the book worthwhile, urgent, and timely."- Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval and Legendary

The information about Beautiful Country Burn Again shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Ben Fountain

Ben Fountain was born in Chapel Hill and grew up in the tobacco country of eastern North Carolina. A former practicing attorney, he is the author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, and the novel Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award and a finalist for the National Book Award. Billy Lynn was adapted into a feature film directed by three-time Oscar winner Ang Lee, and his work has been translated into over twenty languages. His series of essays published in The Guardian on the 2016 U.S. presidential election was subsequently nominated by the editors of The Guardian for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife of 32 years, Sharon Fountain.

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