BookBrowse Reviews Beautiful Country Burn Again by Ben Fountain

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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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  • Published:
    Sep 2018, 448 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Renner

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Fountain looks back on 2016 in a series of essays that illuminate our understanding of the events and of the changing identity of America.

The United States reinvents itself every 80 years, at least according to "Apology for Bad Dreams," the poem by Robinson Jeffers in whose lines Beautiful Country Burn Again found its title. The nation's last reinvention was the New Deal, and in this book, Ben Fountain explains why the country is in the midst of its next great reinvention.

To explain his hypothesis of change, which he calls the "Third Reinvention," Fountain presents a series of linked essays that cover the span of the 2016 presidential election. Many of the essays were already published in The Guardian, but even with this reuse, the book feels fresh and new. Fountain is used to writing fiction. His novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, won many prizes, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, but with Beautiful Country, Fountain proves that the truth can be much stranger than fiction.

The essays ...

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