Michael Wolraich's picture

    Unreasonable Men: First Book Review

    From Publishers Weekly:

    From 1904-1912, the American political system underwent enormous growing pains, and political writer Wolraich (Blowing Smoke) gives this decade an exhaustive, detailed examination, from the first “creeping sense” of a new political body into a “war with only two sides” that birthed America’s enduring bipartisan identities.

    He chronicles the mobilization of a group behind a unified ideology and the book’s massive cast provides the means to deliver a character-driven historical narrative

    It a story of change, with larger societal shifts traced back to individual transformations, embodied in Roosevelt’s initially pragmatic middle-ground political stance giving way to an embrace of a divisive progressivism that articulated a “historic conflict between privilege and democracy.”

    The pressing issues of this first progressive era became ongoing touchstones for inter-party debate and lasting national concerns, including environmental conservation, overhaul of tariff systems, centralization of banking, modification of Congressional responsibilities, and the introduction of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments.

    Wolraich probes this historic moment in light of an American political reawakening to the idea of the interests of the citizens as separate from, and potentially victim to, the interests of corporations and capital holders; it is a mighty and relevant insight into the cyclical nature of history.

    More about the book at www.michaelwolraich.com



    This all has to be fun, right?



    Excellent!  Wish it was available now.

    I enjoyed the pictures and political cartoons.  Now I am going to google Puck and read about that magazine.  The layout of the site is nice and clean which I like. 

    Thanks! I used squarespace for the site.

    PS Puck was so damn cool. It's too bad we don't really have anything like it today.

    Just curious, what is the difference to you as a writer between having this book as opposed to your online presence where you reach a lot of people with some of the same thoughts and ideas.

    An article is a cherry plucked from a giant fruit salad called the internet and immediately consumed. A book is a cherry pie you take home and eat one gooey piece a time. If it's delicious, you might devour the whole thing at one sitting. If it's mushy, you eat a bit and feed the rest to the dog.

    Oops, pardon me. I'm gagging on my own overripe metaphor.

    Your metaphor might work if there was any pie left for the next generation.  That's the beauty of a book:  It can be consumed without being consumed.

    Excellent point.

    (though somewhat less apt for e-books, which are hard to share)

    Congratulations, Michael!  I look forward to reading it.

    Sounds like there's nothing new under the sun.  But where are we going to find another Roosevelt/LaFollette?

    P.S.  Congrats on the glowing PW review.  I'm a librarian and PW matters.

    Thanks, AB! I hope you enjoy it.

    PS I believe that great leaders rise to meet the need but not necessarily on schedule. America suffered through decades mediocre presidents and congressional paralysis before leaders like TR and La Follette guided us out of the  Gilded Age.

    Belated congrats, MW. Look forward to reading it. This one I'll buy new and retail.

      I don't know much about the Roosevelt/Taft era, but from what I've read, it seems to have been a memorable time.  I would cite the successes of the Progressives as evidence against Howard Zinn's view that government never does anything for anyone but the rich.

    I just did a review - with some additional commentary - of your book on http://www.americanprogressivethought.blogspot.com.

    I also posted links to my review on democraticunderground.com and dailykos.com

    I loved it. Congratulations on a terrific book.

    Dan Riker


    Dan, that was a wonderful review.  I just read it. over at Kos.  I had a diary at 6:45 and was doing a final check of it when I spotted yours.  Rec'd, tipped and commented. 

    Are you planning any book signing events, so I could get a hand signed book for prosperity. 

    I am hoping he comes to the Tampa area.  

    Latest Comments