...you may just love this book. Jon Krauker has an interesting way of telling a story. In Into the Wild he paints the portrait of a pretty exceptional character - Chris McCandless who donated a huge trust fund to a charity and headed out west in search of...well, who knows? It ended in his death by starvation up in Alaska. As we learn about Chris, we learn about other people who had braved the wild in search of a thrill, adventure, or fame. He weaves in and out of history everytime coming back to Chris's story, which kind of connects some reasoning to why he did what it is that he did.
Under the Banner of Heaven is painted the same way in that we start with a tragedy and the auspiciousness of it unfolds throughout the novel. In the course of the novel, he starts to reveal the motivations of the people who committed this horrible act and how these people, fundamentalist mormons, came to believe what they believe. An excellent history of Mormon religion in the United States.
Eric Schlosser's expose on the controversial black market commodities that continue to be argued over time and time again by supposed "experts" is a prime example of just part of what is wrong with America.
While the drug wars in other countries have taken a more proactive and rehabilitive approach, America stands idle, sometimes moving in reverse of a policy that actually work. Meanwhile cheap labor continues to be a profitable tool for the wealthy while blame gets displaced on disparaged immigrants trying to survive in a system that is focused on corporate greed and class and economic warfare. And pornography? Well, as the books theme comes full circle we learn an important value in our society. The more our government doesn't want us to have something, the more we want that something.
Schlosser takes a hard look at three very important parts of our economy, although small in comparison to most of the economy, large in our culture. I am really looking forward to Fast Food Nation!
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