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.

Weekend Edition
May 06, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Dave Wagner
When Liberals Run Out of Patience: the Impolite Exile of Seymour Hersh
John Stauber
Strange Bedfellows: the Bizarre Coalition of Kochs, Neocons and Democrats Allied Against Trump and His #FUvoters
Joshua Frank
Afghanistan: Bombing the Land of the Snow Leopard
Bill Martin
Fear of Trump: Annals of Parliamentary Cretinism
Carol Miller
Pretending the Democratic Party Platform Matters
Paul Street
Hey, Bernie, Leave Them Kids Alone
Tamara Pearson
Mexico Already Has a Giant Wall, and a Mining Company Helped to Build It
Dave Lindorff
Bringing the Sanders ‘Revolution’ to Philly’s Streets
Margaret Kimberley
Obama’s Last Gasp Imperialism
Carmelo Ruiz
The New Wave of Repression in Puerto Rico
Jack Denton
Prison Labor Strike in Alabama: “We Will No Longer Contribute to Our Own Oppression”
Jeffrey St. Clair
David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books, the CounterPunch Connection
David Rosen
Poverty in America: the Deepening Crisis
Pepe Escobar
NATO on Trade, in Europe and Asia, is Doomed
Pete Dolack
Another Goodbye to Democracy if Transatlantic Partnership is Passed
Carla Blank
Prince: Pain and Dance
Josh Hoxie
American Tax Havens: Elites Don’t Have to go to Panama to Hide Their Money–They’ve Got Delaware
Gabriel Rockhill
Media Blackout on Nuit Debout
Barry Lando
Welcome to the Machine World: the Perfect Technological Storm
Frank Stricker
Ready for the Coming Assault on Social Security? Five Things Paul Ryan and Friends Don’t Want You to Think About
Hilary Goodfriend
The Wall Street Journal is Playing Dirty in El Salvador, Again
Robert Gordon
Beyond the Wall: an In-Depth Look at U.S. Immigration Policy
Roger Annis
City at the Heart of the Alberta Tar Sands Burning to the Ground
Simon Jones
RISE: New Politics for a Tired Scotland
Rob Hager
After Indiana: Sanders Wins another Purple State, But Remains Lost in a Haze of Bad Strategy and Rigged Delegate Math
Howard Lisnoff
Father Daniel Berrigan, Anti-war Hero With a Huge Blindspot
Adam Bartley
Australia-China Relations and the Politics of Canberra’s Submarine Deal
Nyla Ali Khan
The Complexity of the Kashmir Issue: “Conflict Can and Should be Handled Constructively
Ramzy Baroud
The Spirit of Nelson Mandela in Palestine: Is His Real Legacy Being Upheld?
Mel Gurtov
North Korea’s New Weapons: Full Speed Ahead?
Alli McCracken - Raed Jarrar
#IsraelSaudi: A Match Made in Hell
George Wuerthner
Working Wilderness and Other Code Words
Robert Koehler
Cowardice and Exoneration in Kunduz
Ron Jacobs
Psychedelic Rangers Extraordinaire
Missy Comley Beattie
It’s a Shit Show!
Kevin Martin
President Obama Should Meet A-Bomb Survivors
David Macaray
Our Best Weapon Is Being Systematically Eliminated
Colin Todhunter
Future Options: From Militarism and Monsanto to Gandhi and Bhaskar Save
Binoy Kampmark
The Trump Train Chugs Along
Thomas Knapp
The End of the Bill of Rights is at Our Fingertips
Cesar Chelala
A Lesson of Auschwitz
John Laforge
Dan Berrigan, 1921 – 2016: “We Haven’t Lost, Because We Haven’t Given Up.”
Norman Trabulsy Jr
John Denver and My 40th High School Reunion
Charles R. Larson
Being Gay in China, Circa 1987
David Yearsley
Skepticism, Irony, and Doubt: Williams on Bach
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail