Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front Porch Anarchists

Look Homeward America In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front Porch Anarchists In Look Homeward America Bill Kauffman introduces us to the reactionary radicals front porch anarchists and traditionalist rebels who give American culture and politics its pith vim and life Ble

  • Title: Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front Porch Anarchists
  • Author: Bill Kauffman
  • ISBN: 9781932236873
  • Page: 409
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In Look Homeward, America, Bill Kauffman introduces us to the reactionary radicals, front porch anarchists, and traditionalist rebels who give American culture and politics its pith, vim, and life Blending history, memoir, digressive literariness, and polemic, Kauffman provides fresh portaiture of such American originals as Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, regionalistIn Look Homeward, America, Bill Kauffman introduces us to the reactionary radicals, front porch anarchists, and traditionalist rebels who give American culture and politics its pith, vim, and life Blending history, memoir, digressive literariness, and polemic, Kauffman provides fresh portaiture of such American originals as Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, regionalist painter Grant Wood, farmer writer Wendell Berry, publisher Henry Regnery, maverick U.S senators Eugene McCarthy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and other Americans who can t or shouldn t be filed away in the usual boxes labeled liberal and conservative Ranging from Millard Fill to Easy Rider, from Robert Frost to Mother Jones, Kauffman limns an alternative America that draws its breath from local cultures, traditional liberties, small scale institutions, and neighborliness There is an America left that is worth saving these are its paragons, its poets, its pantheon.

    One thought on “Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front Porch Anarchists”

    1. Kauffman writes like no other political-social-cultural observer. An excellent stylist who knows how to make a point with great wit and insight. Looking beyond the two parties, this book reveals who the true radicals really are -- and why they're right.

    2. 'This is a big old sloppy mess of a book, strange and charming and rhapsodic and even inspirational. It will make its receptive conservative readers reconsider what it means to be a true conservative and even what it means to be a true American. But it is also the kind of book that will leave quite a few conservatives scratching their heads and wondering if Kauffman is more a rocking-chair Romantic than red-state right-winger. Then again, in these sour and shipwrecked late days of Republican Par [...]

    3. Bill Kaufmann holds the following beliefs very strongly: (1) that people do best if left alone to work things out amongst themselves in small communities, (2) that the family is the smallest unit of social organization and therefore the most important to preserve intact, (3) that a nation state going to war is the worst thing that can happen to families and small communities and should be avoided and resisted at all costs.In this book, Kaufmann explores historical and contemporary Americans who, [...]

    4. "The Little Way. That is what we seek. That -- contrary to the ethic of personal parking spaces, of the dollar-sign god -- is the American way. Dorothy Day kept to that little way, and that is why we honor her. She understood that if small is not beautiful, at least it is always human." p. 39 Look Homeward, America collects the stories of eccentric individuals who, in a century marked by the advance of corporate and state power, rebelled against the machine. Planting their flag above small towns [...]

    5. A tremendous book - is changing my life and inspiring me to move homeward after school. Kauffman defies Left and Right in favor of a loyalty to Place. A former Washington insider, he rejected that life to move back to his hometown of Batavia, NY and has spent the past years honoring the legacies of "reactionary radicals" and "front porch anarchists": the pacifists, localists, mini insurrectionists, and the like who have more loyalty to their hometowns than any abstraction that someone from afar [...]

    6. This book was notable both in terms of content and style. It was the first book I've read in a long time that sent me scurrying to my dictionary. I expanded my vocabulary as I read! While negotiating the rough waters of unfamiliar words, I was also navigating ideas and positions, trying to read between the lines to see just what he was actually saying. For instance, "The automobile, and especially that grand Republican experiment in state socialism known as the National System of Interstate and [...]

    7. In Look Homeward, America, Kauffman means to show us “the better America, the real America” that has existed and still exists under the surface of “the televised America.”This “real” America is full of “holy fools and backyard radicals,” “third parties, quixotic crusades, border bandits, charlatans, and raggedy-ass preachers on the political fringe,” “Jewish Confederates, Latin Mass Catholics, Ed Abbeyesque tree-hugging beer-can throwers, radical businessmen who admired Jer [...]

    8. I really like this book, because I agree with a lot and disagree with about as much. But mainly I like it because all the people he writes about are people and not agendas, all are a mixed bag of yeas and nays and sometimes and perhaps. Also, Mother Jones and Dorothy Day in the same book, with a smidgen of Emma Goldman- gotta love it. Two quotes-In response to the impersonal and deadly demands of the military-industrial complex- "Don't feed the war machine. You are not expendable, in your family [...]

    9. from the introduction- 'Robert Frost put his faith in the 'insubordinate Americans,' throaty dissenters and ornery traditionalists, and this book is for and about them- those Americans who reject Empire; who cherish a better America, the real America; who cannot be broken by the Department of Homeland Security, who will not submit to the Patriot Act, and who will make the land acrid and bright with the stench and flame of burnt national ID cards when we-should we- cross that Orwellian pass. This [...]

    10. Sample quote: "I wish to testify that in my best moments I am not aware of the existence of the government. Though I respect and feel myself dignified by the principles of the Declaration and the Constitution, I do not remember a day when the thought of the government made me happy, and I never think of it without the wish that it might become wiser and truer and smaller than it is."

    11. A difficult book to comment on. The first word in it's bibliographic description is "anarchism." That's unnerving or offputting, whichever it is!, but it is worth pushing on. I did not agree with everything in this book but I was both convicted and challenged by some of Kauffman's charges. I especially enjoyed the sections on Wendell Berry and Grant Wood. Regionalism is certainly a worthy topic.

    12. Another fun read from Bill Kauffman. This book is another defense, in the vein of Wendell Berry, of localism and the importance of "place". Kauffman also does a good job of showing how the warfare state destroys rural America.

    13. One of the best books I've ever read. This book resonated with me to such an extent that I felt as if the author were reading my mind. Great book!

    14. More dispatches from mind-yr-own-business, don’t-tread-on-me, regionalist, communitarian, rural America.

    15. Wonderful book, but would not recommend reading right after leaving America for an extended period of time. So many feels.

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