The History of the Future

American Essays
Product Number: EB00687218
Released: Apr 10, 2017
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781566894760
Publisher: Coffee House Press
Please log in to view pricing


Essays on America's changing environment from an author who is "funny and searching-a joy to read" (Elizabeth Kolbert). What does it mean to think about Dallas, the city where JFK was shot, in relationship to Dallas, the show that just seventeen years later made "Who shot J.R." a national catchphrase? This collection of essays looks at seven diverse American places and reexamines them in the light of history, experience, and myth. Taking on topics from private streets, racism, and the St. Louis World's Fair to fracking for oil and digging for dinosaurs in North Dakota boomtowns, this book both warns about the dangers we face as a nation and "explores America in all its beauty and strangeness" (Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction). "In his energetic and incisive collection of essays, The History of the Future, McPherson thoughtfully examines seven markedly different American sites. In doing so, he zeros in on the manner in which cultural representation and the pull of nostalgia skewer our self-image at this critical juncture in American history, too often steering us away from our most pressing concerns. His often quirky study reveals the suppressed violence that ravages our communities' social harmony as well as the environmental balance we so desperately need to preserve." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Taken together, this travelogue of the familiar and the strange exposes multiple anxieties latent in the national subconscious: racial inequalities, the dread of disaster, the chase after short-term profits, the eroding meaning of home. McPherson's depth of research, the inventiveness of his prose, and his sensitivity to municipal undercurrents make this a first-rate work of social analysis." -Los Angeles Review of Books "Edward McPherson's meditations on the United States-from its soaring, vulnerable architecture to its deep underground tunnels-are bracing in their acknowledgment of what's been lost to time and his anxieties about what's ahead. This is a smart and beautifully written book about America." -Rebecca Traister

Author(s): Edward McPherson
Original Publish Date: Apr 10, 2017

Sign up for our email newsletter