Recommended Reading (6/20/13)

“How Geography Explains the United States” –  A very informative, yet digestible, explanation of how geography has shaped America and its worldview by Aaron David Miller for Foreign Policy on April 16, 2013.

“Study Finds College Education Leaves Majority Of Graduates Unprepared To Carry Entire American Economic Recovery” – Yet another masterpiece by the comedic geniuses at The Onion from May 13, 2013.

“The God I Don’t Believe In” – One of the best article about the nature of God that I’ve ever read, written by Rabbi Richard A. Block for The Huffington Post on June 10, 2013.

“A CLOSED LETTER TO MYSELF ABOUT THIEVERY, HECKLING AND RAPE JOKES” – Comic Patton Oswalt’s brilliant contemplation of life is masked as a examination of comedy, but even those who aren’t huge comedy fans can appreciate the letter from June 14, 2013.

-“From Ike to “The Matrix”: Welcome to the American dystopia” – Andrew O’Hehir’s June 16, 2013 article for Salon argues that the current state of America is “part Orwellian security state, part Huxley wonderland and part “Matrix.””  Whether or not you agree with his arguments, it’s a thought-provoking piece.

“150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War” – There seems to be a consensus among the American public that the Civil War was a noble and worthy conflict.  While recognizing the unimaginable horror of slavery as well as the Civil War’s role in abolishing it, the article presents intriguing, yet balanced, arguments that the Civil War wasn’t the glorious undertaking that it’s often cracked up to be. I also strongly recommend Ta-Nehisi Coates reply to the article.

-“Richard Nixon, hero of the American Left” – Warning: it’s long, even longer than the other articles on this list.  Still, Emmett Rensin’s May 5, 2013 article for Salon utilizes some of the most seductive prose that I’ve read.  Example: “My teenage descent into Nixonalia started the same way my Boomer parents got into drugs: with the toke that didn’t kill. … When a young person finds out that taking a toke doesn’t unleash an unimaginable horror into their lives, it does violence to their faith in received wisdom. Boomers decided that everything they had been told about drugs was a lie. For me, it meant that, for about five years of my life, I absolutely loved Richard Nixon. It just took one toke.”

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