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 Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net or on Twitter  @JSCCounterPunch

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 29, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
No Laughing Matter: The Manchester Bomber is the Spawn of Hillary and Barack’s Excellent Libyan Adventure
Vijay Prashad
The Afghan Toll
Melvin Goodman
The Washington Post’s Renewed Attack on Whistlblowers
Robert Fisk
We Must Look to the Past, Not ISIS, for the True Nature of Islam
Dean Baker
A Tax on Wall Street Trading is the Best Solution to Income Inequality
Lawrence Davidson
Reality and Its Enemies
Harry Hobbs
Australia’s Time to Recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Sovereignty
Ray McGovern
Will Europe Finally Rethink NATO’s Costs?
Cesar Chelala
Poetry to the Rescue of America’s Soul
Andrew Stewart
Xi, Trump and Geopolitics
Binoy Kampmark
The Merry Life of Dragnet Surveillance
Stephen Martin
The Silent Apartheid: Militarizing Architecture & Infrastructure
Weekend Edition
May 26, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Swamp Politics, Trump Style: “Russiagate” Diverts From the Real White House Scandals
Paul Street
It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
The ICEmen Cometh
Ron Jacobs
The Deep State is the State
Pete Dolack
Why Pence Might be Even Worse Than Trump
Patrick Cockburn
We Know What Inspired the Manchester Attack, We Just Won’t Admit It
Thomas Powell
The Dirty Secret of the Korean War
Mark Ashwill
The Fat Lady Finally Sings: Bob Kerrey Quietly Resigns from Fulbright University Vietnam Leadership Position
John Davis
Beyond Hope
Uri Avnery
The Visitation: Trump in Israel
Ralph Nader
The Left/Right Challenge to the Failed “War on Drugs”
Traci Yoder
Free Speech on Campus: a Critical Analysis
Dave Lindorff
Beware the Supporter Scorned: Upstate New York Trump Voters Hit Hard in President’s Proposed 2018 Budget
Daniel Read
“Sickening Cowardice”: Now More Than Ever, Britain’s Theresa May Must be Held to Account on the Plight of Yemen’s Children
Ana Portnoy
Before the Gates: Puerto Rico’s First Bankruptcy Trial
M. Reza Behnam
Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation
Brian Cloughley
Ukraine and the NATO Military Alliance
Josh Hoxie
Pain as a Policy Choice
David Macaray
Stephen Hawking Needs to Keep His Mouth Shut
Ramzy Baroud
Fear as an Obstacle to Peace: Why Are Israelis So Afraid?
Kathleen Wallace
The Bilious Incongruity of Trump’s Toilet
Seth Sandronsky
Temping Now
Alan Barber – Dean Baker
Blue Collar Blues: Manufacturing Falls in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania in April
Jill Richardson
Saving America’s Great Places
Richard Lawless
Are Credit Rating Agencies America’s Secret Fifth Column?
Louis Proyect
Venezuela Reconsidered
Murray Dobbin
The NDP’s Singh and Ashton: Flash Versus Vision
Ron Leighton
Endarkenment: Postmodernism, Identity Politics, and the Attack on Free Speech
Anthony Papa
Drug War Victim: Oklahoma’s Larry Yarbrough to be Freed after 23 Years in Prison
Rev. John Dear
A Call to Mobilize the Nation Over the Next 18 Months
Yves Engler
Why Anti-Zionism and Anti-Jewish Prejudice Have to Do With Each Other
Ish Mishra
Political Underworld and Adventure Journalism
Binoy Kampmark
Roger Moore in Bondage
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail