“This is not a book to promote tranquility, and readers in quest of peace of mind should look elsewhere,” writes Paul Fussell in the foreword to this original, sharp, tart, and thoroughly engaging work. The celebrated author focuses his lethal wit on habitual euphemizers, artistically pretentious third-rate novelists, sexual puritans, and the “Disneyfiers of life”. He moves from the inflammatory title piece on the morality of dropping the bomb on Hiroshima to a hilarious disquisition on the “naturist movement”, to essays on the meaning of the Indy 500 race, on George Orwell, and on the shift in men’s chivalric impulses toward their mothers.
Fussell’s “frighteningly acute eye for the manners, mores, and cultural tastes of Americans” (The New York Times Book Review) is abundantly evident in this entertaining dissection of the enemies of truth, beauty, and justice.
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