Monday, August 28, 2017

Read This Book: P. L. Thomas and Trumplandia

One of the first bloggers I stumbled across when I fell down the internet edublogs rabbit hole was P. L. Thomas. I found his writing engaging and interesting, but challenging. Thomas can write about big ideas and keep them anchored to the nuts and bolts at the same time. I've always said I like to read hist stuff because it always makes me feel smarter. We also traded some messages about classic seventies comic books, and I admire (without attempting to imitate) his biking prowess.

So it was a real pleasure to have a book by Thomas on my reading pile this summer. Trumplandia: Unmasking Post-Truth America is another hard-hitting book from the folks at Garn Press, a publishing start-up focusing on social justice.

Thomas is good at making connections, and while many of us are getting caught down in the sheer volume of post-truth muck in Trump's America, Thomas has a real gift for staying above personal arguments and focusing on ideas. Democracy, race, class, education, poetry, and the very bending of Truth itself as we've watched it be hammered on for the past few years. Thomas is ridiculously well-read, but he is also a winner of the NCTE George Orwell Award for Distinguished Honesty and Clarity in Public Language, so he never leaves you feeling like you've been buried in a hail of erudition, lost in a scholarly fog. He's clear and smart, but he writes with a transparency that opens doors for the reader rather than leaving them stranded in the foyer, thinking they don't know enough to enter. Like I said-- reading his work makes me feel smarter.

Thomas does the best of what any of us can hope for in these times-- see clearly the Kafkaesque mess that is engulfing our country (some of it new, and some of it not so new) while still seeing the virtues, the better qualities that can guide us through this mess, if we'll just embrace our natures. That makes this book a great back-to-school read. Click right now and buy a copy.

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