Thursday, January 28, 2021

KINDLE UNLIMITED (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)



In 2018, community sites took turns covering a book every week.  You can see "In 2018, we read books" to review that coverage.  We didn't want to repeat ourselves in 2019 or 2020.  So when Marcia came up with a way to cover books but with a twist, we were all for it.  Marcia's idea was for us to digital books -- we're largely a printed text crowd -- and to use AMAZON's KINDLE UNLIMITED.  So for 2021, we'll be doing a book a week and trying to just use KINDLE UNLIMITED. This week, we're talking with Marcia about her "Paul Jay's bad Gore Vidal 'book'."


So, for starters, you're a Gore Vidal reader.


Marcia: Yes.  I'm a big fan of his essays.  It started in 2002, for me, with his two collections PERPETUAL WAR FOR PERPETUAL PEACE OR HOW WE CAME TO BE SO HATED and DREAMING WAR: BLOOD FOR OIL AND THE CHENEY-BUSH JUNTA.  That was my starting point and I've read his nonfiction ever since.  I've also read some of his fiction.  I prefer the non-fiction but MYRA BRECKENRIDGE is funny and I should note, as a lesbian, that THE CITY AND THE PILLAR is a gay classic early 20th century novel.

Were you hoping to enjoy this book from THE REAL NEWS NETWORK?

Marcia: I was.  It's nothing but transcripts of Paul Jay's various interviews with Gore Vidal presented as one conversation.  But it's poorly edited -- including spelling.

You make the point that a 2014 book has no excuse for spelling Jon Stewart's name "John Stewart."

Marcia: Yes and that's the only spelling error.  The editing is also poor and too many times Paul has selected a topic that was just addressed four to ten pages earlier and it makes it seem like Gore is either addled brained or only can talk about a few topics.  

Of course, Iraq is completely edited out of the book and the conversations.

Marcia: Despite the fact that Gore freely brings up the topic in every interview he's doing during that time period.  Even non-REAL NEWS NETWORK interviews.  He goes to a college campus, check YOUTUBE, during this period and he's discussing the Iraq War without prompting from anyone.  But apparently Paul Jay was too bored with an ongoing war to include Gore's comments.

The book is entitled GORE VIDAL: HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY STATE AND VIDAL ON AMERICA so we agree with you that the Iraq War belongs there.  Gore always tied it into so many themes in US history.  Did you feel you learned anything from this book -- any thoughts you hadn't heard Gore express elsewhere?

Marcia: None at all.  The book was worthless.  Go purchase the two I already noted or Gore's IMPERIAL AMERICA: REFLECTIONS ON THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA.  If you're looking for an interview book, I highly recommend Jon Wiener's I TOLD YOU SO: GORE VIDAL TALKS POLITICS: INTERVIEWS WITH JON WIENER.  The only reason to recommend Paul Jay's bad book is if you're using KINDLE UNLIMITED.  It's the only Gore book that they offer.  So if that's your only access to books, that would be the only way you could read Gore's thoughts and opinions and arguments.  

Did that surprise you?  That it was the only Gore Vidal book offered by KINDLE UNLIMITED?


Marcia: I'm really surprised by how little they do offer.  You pay a monthly fee of about ten bucks and for that fee you can read as many books as they offer for KINDLE UNLIMITED subscribers.  But they don't offer a lot that I'm interested in.  Most left authors, in fact, are not part of it.  To give another example, since Michael Parenti's videos have been popping up at THE COMMON ILLS, I've been interested in him.  And Ruth and I talk about him a lot.  But my biggest disappointment is that KINDLE UNLIMITED offers no book by or about Michael Parenti. He's published at least 24 books but there's not one on KINDLE UNLIMITED.  Try searching him and the 'closest' result is a gay romance book entitled MICHAEL: A SINGLE PARENT ROMANCE.  I think they need to work harder at their books offered.  I'm not expecting new releases to be part of this so I don't expect anything more recent than 2018.  But I do expect a wide selection.  

That's really interesting and telling about Michael Parenti.  We just searched Howard Zinn for KINDLE UNLIMITED and they have his 1959 book LAGUARDI IN CONGRESS and an anthology entitled THE INDISPENSIBLE ZINN.  That's it.  Over 45 books -- where he's sole author -- and that's all they offer.

Marcia: I found one and only one book by Angela Y. Davis.  This happened over and over whenever I was looking for any left or radical writer.  I'm hoping they'll offer more as the year goes on but right now I'm not at all inspired or encouraged by their political theory offerings.

Earlier conversations in this series include "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)" and "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)."

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