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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 23, 2017
Dave Brotherton
Trump, Moral Panics and Resistance
Jonathan Cook
One State: Trump Has Reminded Palestinians What It Was Always About
Bill Quigley
Ten Examples of Direct Resistance to Stop Government Raids
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigot Boy Business: Trump Exposes His Ignorance and Intolerance, Again
John W. Whitehead
The Illusion of Freedom: the Police State Is Alive and Well
Ralph Nader
Restricting People’s Use of Their Courts
David Macaray
Women As Labor Union Organizers
Kathy Kelly
Friendship in Defiance of War
Doug Weir
Why Did the US Use Depleted Uranium Weapons in Syria?
Steve Horn
Former GOP Congressional Staffer Follows Revolving Door, Now Latest Keystone XL Lobbyist
Binoy Kampmark
From Rights to Repentance: Norma McCorvey and Roe v Wade
Thomas Knapp
The Target of the “Border Adjustment Tax” is You
Chris Zinda
Open Letter to Neoliberal Environmentalists
February 22, 2017
Mike Whitney
Liberals Beware: Lie Down With Dogs, Get Up With Fleas
John Grant
On Killers and Bullshitters*
Peter Linebaugh
Catherine Despard, Abolitionist
Patrick Cockburn
The Bitter Battle for Mosul
Ted Rall
Sue the Bastards? It’s Harder Than You Think
Yoav Litvin
The Emergence of the Just Jew
Kim Scipes
Strategic Thinking and Organizing Resistance
Norman Pollack
Mar-a-Lago, Ideological Refuge: Berchtesgaden, II
Fred Donner
Nixon and the Chennault Affair: From Vietnam to Watergate
Carl Kandutsch
Podesta vs. Trump
Ike Nahem
To the Memory of Malcolm X: Fifty Years After His Assassination
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Tough Talk Won’t Fix Chicago
Paul Donnelly
Betsy DeVos and the War on Public Education
Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
The End of an Alliance for Police Reform
Richard Lawless
Wall Street Demanded the Nuclear Option and the Congress Delivered
Liaquat Ali Khan
Yes, Real Donald Trump is a Muslim!
Ryan LaMothe
“Fire” and Free Speech
CounterPunch News Service
Bloody Buffalo Billboards
February 21, 2017
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Finance as Warfare: the IMF Lent to Greece Knowing It Could Never Pay Back Debt
CJ Hopkins
Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution
John Wight
Firestarter: the Unwelcome Return of Tony Blair
Roger Harris
Lenin Wins: Pink Tide Surges in Ecuador…For Now
Shepherd Bliss
Japanese American Internment Remembered, as Trump Rounds Up Immigrants
Boris Kagarlitsky
Trump and the Contradictions of Capitalism
Robert Fisk
The Perils of Trump Addiction
Deepak Tripathi
Theresa May: Walking the Kingdom Down a Dark Alley
Sarah Anderson
To Save Main Street, Tax Wall Street
Howard Lisnoff
Those Who Plan and Enjoy Murder
Franklin Lamb
The Life and Death Struggle of the Children of Syria
Binoy Kampmark
A Tale of Two Realities: Trump and Israel
Kim C. Domenico
Body and Soul: Becoming Men & Women in a Post-Gender Age
Mel Gurtov
Trump, Europe, and Chaos
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail