Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History
by Kurt Andersen, pub. 2017, pp. 440
Sneak Peek: For book info, click FB link
What I learned from this book
I learned that no matter what your political affiliation, your viewpoint on whether we, as Americans in 2018, are in a good place or a bad one, safe or dangerous – there is in fact a 500-year documented history that we can break down that may assist in explaining it all. Once we can divide it into smaller, more digestible pieces – perhaps we can then figure out the best way forward. Only time will tell.
What I liked about this book
I thought the author, Kurt Andersen, was exceptionally honest about his views. These are volatile topics that Americans have passion about. They can’t be taken casually “playing it” from both sides. The good news is Andersen doesn’t try that trick. He delivers in a forthright, self-deprecating, thorough style while wading through historical explanations of many of America’s “powder keg” topics: religion, race, and, of course, politics.
What I disliked about this book
I pretty much liked everything about this book. I even found it amazing that the author could discuss 500-year old topics in less than five hundred pages! This could easily have become a convoluted, wordy “1,000-plusser!” Fortunately, it did not!
Whom would I recommend to read this book
I would recommend this book to any American citizen who feels befuddled by the current environment in which we are living. I talk to a lot of people in my daily interactions and I’m amazed at how confused many seem as to “How in the hell did we arrive here?” I suppose one of the brilliant angles of this book is how the author takes us back to the very beginning of the European-American settlement in the U.S.A. Then, he methodically lays out how and why it took that long to get us to where we are today. It took a variety of religious beliefs, plenty of economic and political maneuvering, and, yes, of course, heaping amounts of…well, fantasy.