The Weekend Read
The True American

An excellent book about America, hate, and redemption—at once despairing of and affirming the American dream—is your weekend read.

Published on: May 31, 2014
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  • Anthony

    True American hmmm…. In a society where the making of money, the eager search after profit, the entrepreneurial activity, the exploitation of both labor and natural resources, the perfection of technology, and the expansion of capitalism, the Rais Bhuiyans (individual immigrants) see America from where they left (comparison/contrast). Native Americans (Mark Stroman) generation embedded see America in relative terms (vis-a-vis national creed and its descriptive practicality to real American lives). First generation American immigrants (the true Americans), especially those from countries less theoretically open (socially, economically, etc.) than America, generally buy-in to how could natives (Stromans) be so indifferent to country’s opportunities. That’s part and parcel of the social myth that helps provide economic bodies in furtherance of dominant socio-economic arrangement. In his own way, Rais Bhuiyan gives ostensible legitimacy for the American doctrine of success (as men who faithfully obey the inner rules of the game) – affirming the traditional value system of wide public immigrant approbation: William James’s bitch-goddess, success. And in his embrace wonders how natives like Mark Stroman et al are oblivious to or even un-American in their dispassion to its rewards.

  • Excellent review, you may have convinced me to order it!

  • lehnne

    a morality tale for the historically illiterate designed to titillate the biases of a certain market segment

    • Corlyss

      Amen! I’m sure the entire professoriate here and around the nation are scarfing up this book faster than the publisher can respond. Utterly predictable. I wouldn’t even dignify it with the rubric “morality tale.” What do you want to bet that if the author is accosted about the title, he punts to his publisher?

    • ljgude

      A cliche more appropriate to about 1964. They have substituted drugs for Red Man chewing tobacco and a virtuous Muslim for a virtuous Black man. Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is more subtle and certainly a better read. Ted Cruz for president and God bless Texas.

  • Corlyss

    “It tells two interlocking stories of Rais Bhuiyan and Mark Stroman. Bhuiyan is a striver, an immigrant from Bangladesh, and a Muslim. Stroman is a drug addict, a charmer, and a Texan who is hateful and broken.”

    Gag reflex now engaged. Low-hanging fruit, cheap shot, ideological, no matter how factual it is. I recoil at these tales of individual depravity being linked to America and American character as if it were a Truth suddenly revealed to impugn an entire nation, except when the nation does something the Uberleft approves of.

    I recommend removing the review as unworthy of this site, but I’m sure it won’t be. Freedom of speech and all that, even when the speech is psychobabble.

  • Joe Eagar

    Why did Roger Berkowitz recommend this? The book is a tangled mass of political red meat, neatly bundled together for a certain segment of left and center-left intellectuals.

    I expected better of Roger, and frankly, I question whether Berkowitz wrote this post in the first place. It has all the earmarks of a staff job.

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