FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Booked Up

by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR

 

Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada by John Muir Laws

The gold standard in field guides: informative, compact, durable and lusciously illustrated by artist and naturalist John Muir Laws. If only Laws would venture out of the Sierras and into the Cascades, the San Juans, the Sangre de Cristos, the Smoky Mountains …

The Doomsters by Ross Macdonald

Finally resurrected back into print as part of the Black Lizard crime library, Ross Macdonald’s The Doomster’s is a tale of greed, politics and familial dysfunction in the hothouse of southern California’s orange groves from the last great master of the hard-boiled detective novel.

Bacavi: Journey to the Reed Springs by Peter Whiteley

A fascinating, if dryly written, inside look at one of the most secretive communities in North America, the Hopi Village of Bacavi, near the Reed Springs at the western foot of Third Mesa. Peter Whiteley, a British anthropologist who spent nearly a decade on the Hopi Reservation, recounts the strange history of this village, which was founded in 1909 after a nasty split between the elders in the village of Oraibi, one of the oldest continuously occupied communities in the US. The split arose over whether the Hopi village should be opened to outside cultural and religious influences. The group known as the Hostiles were opposed to such intrusive relations with white settlers, traders and missionaries and split from Oraibi to found two new villages: Hotevilla and Bacavi. The so-called Hostile included many of the spiritual leaders in Oraibi, men who took their vast knowledge of Hopi ceremonies, oral history and dances with them. Soon after the founding of the village, Bacavi began to open up to the very outside influences its leaders had resisted: a BIA school and clinic and a Mennonite Mission. The old dances were halted, the kivas shuttered and traditional ceremonies eroded away. This short modern history of the Hopi mesas is an informative if somewhat creepy read, as if we are being made privy to secret knowledge that the Hopi elders had desperately tried to conceal from prying whites.

Making Certain It Goes On by Richard Hugo

Richard Hugo’s poem “Driving Montana” begins like this:

“The day is a woman who loves you. Open.”

To my ear, that ranks with the best first lines by any American poet and it is fully representative of the body of Hugo’s work: vivid, personal, honest and finely attuned to the music and heartbreak of life in the American West. Hugo writes about the essentials of life: love, bars, mountains and, yes, trout fishing.

* I’ve titled this column Booked Up after one of the great (now defunct) bookstores in America, owned by novelist Larry McMurtry, where I once worked many years ago.

JEFFREY ST. CLAIR is the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature and Grand Theft Pentagon. His newest book, Born Under a Bad Sky, will be published this spring. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

 

 

 

 

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 24, 2016
John Pilger
Provoking Nuclear War by Media
Jonathan Cook
The Birth of Agro-Resistance in Palestine
Eric Draitser
Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism
Kent Paterson
Saving Southern New Mexico from the Next Big Flood
Robert Fisk
The Sultan’s Hit List Grows, as Turkey Prepares to Enter Syria
Abubakar N. Kasim
What Did the Olympics Really Do for Humanity?
Alycee Lane
The Trump Campaign: a White Revolt Against ‘Neoliberal Multiculturalism’
Edward Hunt
Maintaining U.S. Dominance in the Pacific
Eoin Higgins
Did OJ Simpson Suffer Brain Trauma from Football?
George Wuerthner
The Big Fish Kill on the Yellowstone
Renee Parsons
Obamacare Supporters Oppose ColoradoCare
Jesse Jackson
Democrats Shouldn’t Get a Blank Check From Black Voters
Arnold August
RIP Jean-Guy Allard: A Model for Progressive Journalists Working in the Capitalist System
August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail