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Hi,I would like to share this review about the product but also about the delivery time:- Product: excelent as expected.- Delivery: very disapointed. I paid for a priority international delivery to Cadana, and expected to have it on Mai 28th as the recent day but the product was received on June ank you for taking into acc for my next regards.Tin N
Homeless Brother is Don McLean's masterpiece. A concept album about the life and philosophies of life's outcasts, drifters, and free spirits (focusing frequently on the mythos of the American hobo), every song is a gem. "Winter Has Me In Its Grip" sets the tone of a restless wanderer needing to obtain away. The title song (featuring great, earthy banjo and vocal harmony by the legendary Pete Seeger) paints a picture of the hardships of the hobo while a sprightly cover of George Harrison's "Sunshine Life For Me" revels in the romanticism of living such a carefree life. "The Legend of Andrew McCrew", based on a real story, tells the poignant tale of a hobo killed in a train-hopping accident and displayed in a carnival as a mummy. Side 2 of the original vinyl album is the philosophical side with the delightfully melodic "Wonderful Baby" which has the drifter telling a baby what kind of globe he's going to grow up in ("The globe has gone crazy/I'm glad I'm not you"). In the beautifully orchestrated "You Have Lived", the drifter finds a lover who shares his vision of a life free of material restrictions ("Let them have their fad and their fix, confined by fashion and peer/I love you for your courage in this frightened atmosphere"). The rollicking "Great Huge Man" tells the struggling and disenfranchised about the tough odds they're up against. The amazing a cappella cover of Sonny Till and the Orioles' gospel classic "Crying in the Chapel" (accompanied by the voices of the Persuasions seems to imply that the drifter has found a spiritual center and the closing "Did You Know" seems to search him settling down with the woman he has found. This album touched me so deeply when I first heard it that I just had to go out and walk the railroad for a while. Though widely varied musically, the album coheres marvelously and the evocative cover art enhances the experience. I can't praise this one highly enough.
Don McLean albums are often hit and miss affairs ("Homeless Brother" is no different) - but possessed of a method with music that few artists have - when Fresh York State Don hits that sweet spot the results are gorgeous and often impossibly moving. Back in 1994 Britain's Beat Goes On remastered much of his United Artists album catalogue from the Seventies - and this 1974 offering is one of those hidden nuggets. Here are the details...Originally UK released November 1994 (reissued in December 2008) - Beat Goes On BGOCD 247 (Barcode 5017261202475) is a straightforward transfer of his 5th album "Homeless Brother" released November 1974 in the UK on United Artists UAG 29646 (38:26 minutes):1. Winter Has Me In It's Grip2. La La Love You3. Homeless Brother4. Sunshine Life For Me (Sail Away Raymond)5. The Legend Of Andrew McCrew6. Unbelievable Baby7. You Have Lived8. Amazing Huge Man9. Tangled (Like A Spider In Her Hair)10. Crying In The Chapel11. Did You KnowThe 12-page booklet has typically perfect liner notes by JOHN TOBLER (dated 1994) followed by song lyrics and musician credits. The remaster was done at Sound Mastering (then in Cambridge) and is beautifully clean with only minor hiss problems on the very quietest of songs (doesn't say who did what). It's a top notch Lean is a unbelievable lyricist painting photos that are so vivid - in "Lonesome Brother" we obtain "it was just a drunken hobo, dancin' circles in the night, pourin' whisky on the headstones in the blue moonlight..." and in "You Have Lived" he admires a social outcast "confined by fashion and peer...I love you for your courage in this frighten atmosphere..." Inspired by Fred Astaire and dedicated to him - McLean's "Wonderful Baby" would eventually be recorded by the master dancer himself in 1976 on Astaire's "Attitude Dancing" album (United Artists UK place the song out as a 45 in January 1975 on UP 35764 with "Homeless Brother" on the flip). The upbeat and decidedly fruity "La La Love You" has Don pleading with his lady to "just allow me ride your box car...and I'll hobo with you..."One of the large songs on the album even created the news in the USA and changed a forgotten soul's final fate. "The Legend Of Andrew McGrew" tells the story of a tramp's body sat prostate in a straw chair - his mummified remains peddled for decades as a travelling-show exhibit. Highlighting McGrew's horrible treatment - the song finally saw the lost man be given a decent burial. The lovely ballad "Tangled (Like A Spider In her Hair)" sees him sing and play acoustic guitar with only the faintest of percussion from Ralph McDonald. He then shares an Acapella rendition of The Orioles 1953 Vocal Group hit on Jubilee "Crying In The Chapel" with The Persuasions - the lack of instruments give it a Fifties feel and create it all the more striking (the song was also covered memorably by Elvis in 1965 on RCA).One of my favourites is the gentle opener " Winter Has Me In Its Grip" - a typically easy song that slays you. Yusef Lateef provides Flute as McLean does a truly gorgeous backing vocal duet with Kenny Vance (lyrics from it title this review). The album ends on one of the album's prettier songs "Did You Know" - again just McLean and acoustic guitar with a Willis Jackson Tenor Saxophone towards the 's not "American Pie" (1971) or "Playing Favourites" (1973) but its moments are up there. A lovely reissue...
The song "American Pie" was a blessing and a curse for Don McLean. Its overwhelming popularity and unavoidable omnipresence in 1972 made a backlash. Expectations for the followup album, Don McLean were raised to the point of absurdity. Don admirably kept doing what he does without compromising his sound or pandering to a transient fan base that feeds on, "What hit single have you done for me lately?". In spite of the pressure, 1972's Don McLean was a very amazing followup. Don's next album of original material @#$%!&[email protected]#$ "Homeless Brother", another commendable collection of songs. Unlike Don's previous albums this didn't have a huge rock single, or for that matter even a huge rock album cut, to help it. But the largely folk-flavored "Homeless Brother" does fine without a "Dreidel" or "American "Pie".The core of this album is a thematic set, the three song run which originally rounded out side one: "Homeless Brother", a rustic cover of George Harrison's "Sunshine Life For Me" (first recorded the previous year by Ringo Starr on his breakthrough album Ringo), and "The Legend of Andrew McCrew". This set bundles touches of humor and grace and compassion for what used to be called hoboes. The title track inspired by the writings of Kerouac features Pete Seeger on backing vocals. Don's storytelling especially comes through on the six min "Legend Of Andrew McCrew", the winding tale of an unfortunate hobo whose mummified body turns up in a travelling circus. This song compelled a radio station to raise funds to provide a headstone for addition to the core songs that define the album's narrative, the folk numbers are uniformly powerful - the album opener "Winter Has Me In Its Grip", the album closer "Did You Know", and "Tangled (Like A Spider In Her Hair)". Any of them would have fit in nicely on the American Pie ose whose tastes lean toward McLean's pop side may have fun "Wonderful Baby" which hit #1 on the US Adult Contemporary charts. It's an old-timey number that you can easily imagine someone performing in top hat and tails. "La La Love You" follows in the footsteps of McLean songs like "If We Try" and "And I Love You So" but with a flavor that's more pop than introspective. "Crying in the Chapel" is one of Don's a lot of covers of old favorites.1974's "Homeless Brother" is recommended for those who like Don McLean's folk style. Half of its songs also appear as live versions on 1976's Solo, originally a two album set; Solo too is quite enjoyable, but is currently available only on CD, not as mp3 downloads. If you're looking to download a few highlights for compiling your own 'best of', I'd recommend the sequence "Homeless Brother"/"Sunshine Life For Me"/"Legend of Andrew McCrew" for starters.
I was in high school, and my mates and I all went up to the Troubadour in Los Angeles to listen to Don McLean (you know, the 'American Pie' guy) and we were hit in the face by material too powerful to ignore, by performances too amazing to forget. By the next week we all had copies of this record (I have mine to this day) and I think we all still listen to berta Flack's Killing Me Softly Killing Me Softly is actually ABOUT hearing McLean play at that very same club. We are priveliged to swim in the waters of greatness. Today we had better stick to the record at hand.HOMELESS BROTHER IS A MASTERPIECE. GREAT songwriting, like 'The Legend of Andrew McGrew' The story of a one legged hobo who lost his other leg hopping a freight and got mummified and sold to a carnival where he toured for the next fifty years. Here's the introduction and first verse:There was a mummy at the fair,All crumpled in a folding chair,The People Passed, but didn't care,That the mummy was a man,So tell us, if you can,Who are you? Who are you?Where have you been?Where are you going to?Well Andrew McGrew must have lost his way,Cause though he died long ago he was buried wn on nightmare alley, where the shady people sway,A hobo went a hiking, on a salty summer dayWell he hopped a freight in Dallas,And he rode it out of sight,But on a turn he slipped and he lost his grip, and he fell into the goes on. This is actually a real story, gotten very wrong. A little time crook named Elmer McCurdy was shot and killed robbing a Texas train in 1911, mummified and sold to a carnival (thence changing hands several times) and ending up in a dark ride at the Long Beach Pike where he was finally discovered and buried in the mid 1980's. Life is strange. But McLean's ver is so compelling, so vivid and well imagined, that I simply cannot imagine that it isn't true.Other wonders abound. Homeless Brother includes one of those lines that songwriters dream of writing, as follows:The ghosts of highway royalty have vanished in the night,The Whitman wanderer walking to a growing inner light,The kids have grown older and the cops have gripped us tight,There's no spot round the melting pot for free men in their flightOn top of that, the melody is stunningly beautiful. Don's voice is in the top of his form, his guitar is sure footed and artful. This album is a high water tag in american folk, like blood on the tracks, or moving.And there are a couple of cover versions to really bring it home. Crying in the Chapel is covered with the awesome Persuasions Street Corner Symphony and finally a banjo ver of 'Sail Away Raymond' by George Harrison.I didn't mention so much that's on this record, and yet here it sits, almost forgotten. Laugh along, Sing along, Cry along--this is the amazing stuff. Take my word for it.
This album, released in 1974, was not a large commercial success for Don, but artistically it is very representative of his work. And, real to form, it is a bit quirky at times. Like "The Legend of Andrew McGrew", the story of a hobo who was killed by a train near the turn of the century, and was mummified and displayed as a carnival attraction for 50 years!A very unique tune is "Wonderful Baby". A amazing tune, and one that should have become a l-in-all, one of Don's better works, and a must for a serious collector.
This is almost, or is, a companion piece to Dunzweiler's documentary "yHomeless?"it's a quick and interesting read. The thing which strikes me most about this book is that the author offers no concrete solutions to the problem - just his insights after having lived in his vehicle for a month to research homelessness, and interview the homeless. The idea he puts forth is that we can't treat them (the problem) with a singular solution because the homeless are out there due to very various circumstances. We, therefore, should learn to treat each individual as an individual. Huh...what a concept, eh?Respect for others is another common thread, and it makes sense. Who wants to be disrespected?I recommend this book for anyone who has any interest in the homeless. And, unless you live on Mars you should have an interest; you see them every day, in all situations. Government will only do so much, organized charities can only do so much, you can only do so much. But, whatever that is, do it.
...which I probably didn't need this book to teach me. Not a lot of surprises contained within, or deep meaningful life e style is primarily factual, with some homeless people's life stories mixed in, and info the author learned living in his vehicle for the month. It often reads like an ad for his documentary about homelessness. Despite trying to be fair and treat everyone with respect, it feels that goal is not always achieved in his tone.An example of the writing: "Panhandlers aren’t necessarily homeless, but they are business people. Their signs aren’t necessarily true, but they are telling a story. Think of them as road theater. They are buskers and salesmen. They need your money, and their sign is a request for a transaction. It’s a contract on the back of capitalism. For cash, you obtain to feel you helped somebody. Some deals contain entertainment. For cash, their sign makes you laugh. For cash, you obtain to pet their dog. For cash, you obtain to give back to a vet. Thank you for your service. Here’s a dollar. You as the customer obtain to decide if you wish take part in that deal."
Things I’ve Learned From the HomelessThis is a brave book that offers insight into the motivations, obstacles and backstories of people who are homeless. Author Glen Dunzweiler intentionally lived out of his vehicle during the filming of his movie, “yHomeless?” Now he has published a handbook for people who feel flummoxed and frustrated by how to handle the growing number of people living on the street. The book contains a few examples of effective programs across the country. But he makes the point that each community will have its own mix of government, charity and church. He describe specific homeless people he has met and their obstacles: including weather, hunger, isolation and fear. But Dunzweiler also empathizes with people who see the man sleeping near the bus stop, and turn away. “Panhandlers are the de facto PR representatives for homeless people,” he writes. But he goes on to describe the quieter members of the homeless tribe, who search family and belonging and little victories in the midst of their poor luck and poor decisions. This book is a must read for anyone who is personally working to search housing and treatment for people living on the streets. It is also an necessary book for anyone who wonders about their own humanity as they walk by people lying in doorways. And that’s an poor lot of us.-- Kris Lovekin
A well written approach that humanizes the daunting problem of homelessness. The insight provided by the author is both a disturbing reality sprinkled with elements of truth that so a lot of people really can’t identify with (just using the bathroom is an unrealized luxury for most Americans but we demonize those without it.) It is a tough subject that’s not going away and this book left me asking myself “what have I done to help?” (Throw a few bucks to clear our guilty conscience for being so fortunate?) The books approach to simply act with respect towards this problem is bold and is a theory that frankly, it scares people. Just a few references in the book created me uncomfortable! I hope it strikes the nerves of decent human beings and rattles the flimsy spines of political agendas. Kudos to the author Glen for having the balls to call us ALL out on our BS. What have you done?
The author is kind and proactive. It's about treating all people as human beings with primary respect. I enjoyed the logic of this book and the practical tip in dealing or trying to support people when they fall into homelessness. A fascinating read
Dunzweiler offers a gritty, but heart-felt perspective on the homeless problem by providing private accounts from those living on the streets, outdoors. These accounts increase the humanity of an anonymous population and one that we often ignore. His work exposes the reader to this perspective which is often the beginning of true change. It leaves the reader with a fresh lens. One that sees these struggling individuals as humans, neighbors, family members and part of the community. It begs the question, "How can I help?"
This book will support you be more compassionate the next time you walk past a homeless person. You will be able to see just how simple it would be for you to end up in the same place. Homeless people deserve equal respect and dignity. Glen has done a amazing job of bringing civility and honesty to a difficult topic. Be prepared for a healthy dose of introspection and self realization.
Once you begin reading, it's hard to place this book down. It's one individual story after another of those who have found themselves homeless - their circumstances, their struggles, and their efforts to leave homelessness. Glen allows us to enter this globe and engage with the people who live in it, safely and from the comfort of our own homes. If you've ever seen a homeless person standing on the road and wanted to understand this phenomenon, this is a must read.
This is not a traditional book on the homeless – or anything else. Apparently a companion piece to Dunzweiler's film on homelessness, “yHomeless,” this book mixes descriptions of the author’s interactions with the homeless, his observations on homelessness, and descriptions of aspects of life on the road from the homeless. It’s informative and, depending on your perspective, will likely be either enlightening or annoying. It’s well worth the read.
This was a terrific book. It wasn't a survival tutorial - that would be "How to be homeless, thrive and recover," by Anna is young woman is homeless - yes Virginia a lot of of the homeless live in cars, vans, camper trailers, travel trailers, etc., must endure finding parking, getting rid of her beloved animals, finding work, shower, and a whole lot of bias versus homeless people having so much as a cell phone, stereotypes, e's lucky, she isn't mentally ill and while she was a very abused kid she grew up to be a responsible adult who can keep a job. She is young - mid 20's, and this is a year in her life.he meets someone online on a homeless stories website and the guy totally uses her. Her hard work ends up buying him plane tickets to visit - twice and her own tickets to see him. It's tragic. She will be okay. She is super lucky becuase she does have her head on straight and is learning - but learning does take making lifes mistakes. I found it an interesting read and a amazing outlook on the homeless who contain people who have nothing and people like her who has a computer and a travel trailer, a job, would be nice if the reviewers would drop their judgements and simply read her story.I want the author the best. She brings a very required look at homelessness and the typecasts they suffer from. The reviewers here provide the typecasters. How dare she spend her cash on a relationship, etc. Actually, if she believed it was love - which she did, then she place her cash in the right place. She has learned and will be wiser now. I think this is a survivor who will succeed. She has a lot going for her. She is the temporary homeless.
I stumbled across the author's story on Yahoo and went into buying this book (kindle edition) in an effort to be supportive. Looking back, I should have looked for the book at a used book shop and saved my money. I have read some of the reviews and have to agree with the one and two star reviewers. This book does not help the title or the theme the author is going for. I am sure most people attempt to compare the author's situation with someone they know, my parents actually do live in their RV by choice and are fine with it, but circumstances are various for each person. I do not believe that the author was "homeless," per say, but about the same as most individuals who had lost their job and still continue to, facing uncertainty. Putting all of that aside, if this book were perceived as a fictional story then the ratings might have gone up slightly. The main character/author comes across through her writing as being frank with her actions, as well as not seeming concerned with her constant poor decisions throughout the latest couple of years. I would feel the same about anyone making these same choices but the fact that the reader can place a living, breathing person to the actions of the hero makes it all the more aggravating. There are very few people I have come across in my life thus far that have shocked and annoyed me regarding their choices but the author of this book blows me away- she wrote a book about it! Her every attempt at justification is void when looked at from a readers perspective and the fact that the author will say something regarding her knowledge of what she is doing looks this method or that but homeless people are allowed their vices. This is real but those should not contain buying international airline tickets, allow alone for someone you don't even know. All in all, I couldn't stop reading because I kept hoping the end of the book would offer inspiration but it does no such thing. The author chalks all of her failures up to circumstances of life instead of not good private choices or simply taking responsibility for her own life. I hope Miss Karp learns from this book and her previous experiences and takes the time to read these reviews and the response from readers and makes better choices for herself, as well as increases her self worth.
I bought this book because I expected a historical artifact that provides social commentary on the rapidly shrinking American middle class. Instead, I received an explit tell-all, chock full of gratuitous accounts--replete with prurient details--of childhood sexual and physical abuse, date rape, and early adult sexual experimentation the author later regretted. If I'd wanted that, I would have watched Jerry Springer reruns on d to that the author's ponderous rehashing of a turbulent long distance, international relationship which began online and (predictably) failed, and the book's title is a bit of a bait and switch. While cathartic for the author, there's not much in her book that has anything remotely to do with how one becomes homeless, deals with being homeless, and successfully transitions back to being housed and financially secure. Apparently the author expects readers to sift through the archives of her blog for be fair, several aspects of the author's acc of falling into homelessness and trying to obtain out again do ring true. I had to look hard to search them, though.*Lack of knowledge of how to successfully navigate institutions of higher learning and the white collar work force after having been reared in an abusive environment. Check.*Continuing to be exploited in adulthood by the same family members who abused one in childhood. Check.*Inability to recognize and accept that one must immediately scale down one's lifestyle and spending habits, rather than hold up appearances at the insistence or for the sake of one's friends, relatives and acquaintances. Check.*Finding oneself in circumstances which require one to share habitation with relatives/friends/acquaintances who demand favors and search ways to scam one in exchange for the meal and shelter they're providing "out of the kindness of their hearts," thus keeping one in perpetual bondage in exchange for a put to sleep, shower, use the toilet and shop one's clothes & food. Check.*Falling victim to predatory financial products, such as refund anticipation loans, because one believes one has no other alternative. Check.*Rather than using windfalls such as an inheritance, tax refund, or retroactive benefits checks to support one advance, one uses those funds to repay unsecured private loans, buy gifts, travel or for other "splurges." tom line: Although I found some merit in the book, I'm embarassed to have reccommended it to colleagues and professional acquaintances prior to reading it.
This book was chosen for our book club to read and I must say right off the bat I didn't like it. As the book continued, I actually thought I'd prefer having all my teeth pulled out of my mouth without being numbed then rammed back in would be more ideal than continuing to read and finish this book. However being the book purist that I am, I begrudgingly finished it. If you're bound and determined to read this book then borrow it from the library or someone you know who has it. I'm sorry to say this as I'm sure proceeds from this book go to support Ms. Karp. I have nothing versus Ms. Karp or her experience. To me the book felt overly melodramatic. It didn't grab my heartstrings the method Dave Pelzer's books did. Unlike her title, it's not a tutorial to homelessness. If I were to be homeless in three days, I wouldn't pick this book up to support me survive the pitfalls. After reading this book, I was actually compelled to read Dave Peltzer's books because I felt I had lost my heart, because I just didn't connect with Brianna and her story. However, my heart's still there. I feel that perhaps this story could've had more potential had Ms. Karp had a various editor and/or waited a few more years to write this story. I feel like it was method too soon to have written a memoir. I have followed up on Ms. Karp's blog and happy to see that not only have things got better for her, that she's in an apartment, got a job, but the most impressive to me is that after her latest relationship took a 2 year hiatus from relationships to focus on herself. She's grown and matured as woman and is highly involved in community service and continuing her efforts to support place a spotlight on homelessnes. Now would've been the optimum time to write a memoir about her experience, I think it would have a various feeling now, than what it currently has. I'm sorry Ms. Karp and other supporters of this book, but that's just the method I see it. However I want Ms. Karp all the best and hope she continues to grow and heal from her past. All the best. :D
Interesting how she tries to school everyone through this book that there are various kinds of homelessness. Of course there are, as there are a lot of reasons for someone to truly end up without a home. While it appears she had some struggles, it also appears that most of them were through her own doing. It is ridiculous to think of the cash she wasted away on frivolous stuff while there are people who struggle to pay for the mere basics (shelter/food vs. trips to Europe and first edition novels). This book was very disappointing on a lot of levels.
The only saving grace in this purchase was that i bought it for a book club discussion, and the book led to very lively discussion. In general, the book disappoints, and for me, didn't shed any light on homelessness...it was really more a memoir of a messed up young woman who really seems to have fun seeing herself as a victim. I don't blame her for living in a trailer, I don't blame her for having some poor relationships but I do blame the author for not having shown any emotional growth by the end of the book. Ugh.
Amazing Book! I have read it 2x and also given a copy to several friends. Proceeds from the book have helped the author along on her struggle and helped others. A lot of are homeless but you would never know it. This book speaks to their journeys and how they pull themselves out of it. It also answers a lot of questions people wonder about homelessness but can't ask.
I read about The Girls Tutorial To Homelessness in PEOPLE magazine and was looking forward to picking it up. The idea, I thought, was interesting enough and the book was created to sound like it would be fast read. I finished the book in a single night, mostly because I couldn't wait to write this review, but felt in order to do so, I owed Brianna a fair shake at is book should have been have been written in three parts: Belief, Suspicion of Disbelief and Total Disbelief.I harbored a feeling, a powerful feeling at that, that most of this book is written from Brianna supposed reality, and I highly doubt most of it is actual reality. A lot has been created about fictions claims and stories in the books--and I'm guessing that is probably the only nonfiction thing about this ianna claims to be homeless, and yes, by definition she is without a stable home ergo homeless. But she far, far, far and away from the photo of a woman sitting curbside asking for change. She's not that by a mile and a half. She works really hard to sell you on why her ver of homeless is still legit, despite having cash enough to fly her online boyfriend around the globe 4 times, own a Blackberry cell phone, a neo mastiff and 2 cars, oops...lets not forget her trailer. Brianna tries, and fails, to justify these actions by pull the old "poor small me" excuse to explain away different expenses she occurs in the pursuit of wooing her ere are moments where you'll feel for this girl, of course. If this story even harbors 1/10th of truth, that's a true shame. But she's also an active and willing participant in making not good decisions, al a, taking her unemployment, when she's to broke to buy meal mind you, to fly her boyfriend to the US for an extended "sex and getting to know you" vacation. Those tickets aren't cheap and that same cash could go far spent in practical ways.I have no doubt Brianna struggles, be it from her circumstances or free will, but the reader will have a hard time reconciling the two. If it wasn't for poor luck, Brianna would have none and so I want her the best and hope she can realign her priorities so she can obtain back her life.
This is my first time EVER writing a review on I check reviews before reading a lot of of my books, but sadly not this time. Being also from Orange County, CA, I was hoping Miss Karp would hit a homerun. But NO. This read started out compelling with shocking family secrets and the beginning stages of her homlessness. Enter internet romance with a random guy from Scotland. The book turns into a story about a powerful young girl into a desperate woman being manipulated and taken advantage of. The book ends abruptly. I wonder to myself why the publisher chose to print this memoir.
Too a lot of ads, it's understandable to run some ads, but getting 5 ads within 3 mins of the android game is unacceptable. This is a common complaint, and I know it's not that hard to modify the ad settings with the Unity engine. You would create more cash in the long run if you spaced your ads out instead of bombarding people with so a lot of right off the bat and driving them away.
ok so this android game this simulator is huge poor garbage ok I git on the android game and a ad pops out tiki talk ad and the android game is so hard to move around and I cant run and move at the same time and dont git me started on the poor graphics the graphics broke the android game is useless so I give it a 0 star rating for it because whelp you gotta know what I said so plz create I amazing game😪 o.
Just finished a second reading of this book - I knew I had missed things the first time and the second reading just reminded me exactly what I am missing. Beautifully written--as all of Anthony Esolen's books are, the book will engage any reader--but, especially readers who understand ourselves as "strangers in a strange land." There is poetry and several nods to Walker Percy's "lost in the cosmos" which I greatly appreciated. Percy always understood our human dilemma. But, more importantly, there are so a lot of reminders for us to return to the classics - to Homer first--to understand what we are missing in our lives. History has so much to teach us - that life is attractive and it is not filled with misery as the progressives would have us believe. He is harsh when describing the toxic ideology of feminism - but deservedly so, and I agree with him that feminism threatens to destroy everything that is amazing and attractive and true. He reminds us all that we should not be seeking a utopia that can never exist. And, asks us to simply appreciate the beauty of every life on every page of this attractive book.
Esolen offers a reflection on nostalgia as the desire to return home as inspired by the Odyssey. Hehas been a prominent commentator for the past several years, and gained some notoriety in hisfinal years at Providence College in Rhode Island before moving to Fresh Hampshire I believe. WhenI was in the seminary we didn't have a lot of conservative journals, but one that they got was Crisis,and I always enjoyed the latest three pages with "Sense and Nonsense" by James Schall, "Cloud ofWitnesses" by George Rutler, and "End Notes" by Ralph McInerny. In latest years, Esolen has beenCrisis' "it guy" with his learned and hard-hitting observations. Ironically, I don't always like hisliterary style, but I generally obtain a lot out of the philosophical and religious implications thathe draws out in his prose.A major theme of the book is that Nostalgia is the yearning for home, which is heaven, thepresence and life of God. Like Fulton Sheen, Esolen comes from a Catholic framework butframes his reflections in such a method that people of all faiths, and "seekers" (who after all,yearn for home) can apply his work to their lives. While there is a lot of critique of progressivism,he is generous in acknowledging the loyal lives of a lot of liberals that are probably better thantheir philosophy would dictate.Above all, he is an awesome teacher of the Western canon of literature. Even if you think he'swrong about everything, in your frustration with him you will learn a lot, just as conservativescan from Garry Wills (who once was on the right, which complicates things). Perhaps the bestcompliment I can give is to compare Esolen to Joe Sobran. I think Sobran probably had themore detailed knowledge of Shakespeare (well, the Earl of Oxford), but Esolen has the wholeWestern canon down. In my case, I had decent English teachers in high school but was moreinto social studies. In college, the English profs varied around 3 stars or so in Amazon terms,but I was more interested in the philosophy and theology. It was only when I saw the illustrationssuch as the Brothers Karamazov and Hamlet that I was able to come back somewhat to the right side ofthe brain and the literary canon. In any event, if your education didn't give you this patrimony,reading Esolen will tell you what you should have been taught. So this goes from Homer,Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, and Goethe, to Dickens, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, JaneAusten, Belloc, T.S. Eliot, Evelyn Waugh, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and Tom Wolfe. Also thereare Charles Peguy, Hugo, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Bunyan, and Milton. It's not just that he knows what toread, but that he's skilled in drawing out the philosophical lessons. For instance, I had a better ideawhat was going on in the me of my mates have thought that Esolen goes too far in his critique of feminism-notjust "radical feminism", but any contemporary feminism, since female writers did just finein the 1800s. The experience of the past two years has shown me just how disorientedits effects are on those who should know better from their own background. Esolen makesan eloquent case for appreciating the bonuses of boys, not just athletes but boys who memorizesports statistics and study maps of their hometown and surrounding zone as I did. Women willbe criticized if they say anything positive about the male half of the species, and feministsare mad not so much with their great-great-grandfather who beat his wife, but the other sevenof them who loved and cherished theirs.
'Nostalgia' by Anthony Esolen draws a reader into the globe of piety, which is "a deeply private virtue and a strong force to bring together the generations" (p. xxiii). Piety recognizes and honors those who have come before us and who have left for us an necessary cultural and moral inheritance. Like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), we may chose to waste that inheritance, but also like the Prodigal Son, the riches and security of the inheritance can be regained providing we chose to return to our moral home (and, once again, wear "the best robe").Per Esolen, this desire to return to the moral home of our ancestors is expressed "by the Greek word that has entered English and is the topic of this book: nostalgia, the ache to return home" (p. x).The globe of Esolen's 'Nostalgia' is a globe of tradition, where it is recognized that out ancestors wrestled with the very same moral problems we do today (only under various guises). Tradition is not stasis, but a platform on which we stand, adapt, build, and grow, and which we should bequeath to our kids in an improved condition. The perspective of tradition is necessarily broadband ... it encompasses the past, the present, and the future within its purview.What of the titular "homeless age"? Life in Esolen's 'Nostalgia' is a pilgrimage, which is walked with our contemporaries and with those who came before us. A pilgrimage is a journey that a lot of generations before us have trod, and by doing so have shown us the method ("el camino"). The "homeless" are those who abandon the path, finding no wisdom in the past (in 'Darkness at Noon', Koestler writes of persons who, "... need not deny their past, because they had none. They were born without umbilical cord ..."). As Elosen writes, "They who are chop adrift in time are like survivors of a shipwreck, each clinging to his spar or beam" (p. 13). Call them Ishmael, perhaps.Elosen writes, "... since man is a social animal by nature and not by accident or necessity, his freedom is incomprehensible apart from love and life in a community" (p. 47). The pilgrim does not walk alone, and the destination is not a place, but is being at home with a community of others (akin to "the communion of saints").'Nostalgia' is chalk full of references to the likes of Burke, Hawthorne, Melville, Shakespeare, Virgil, etc. Despite being unfashionable, the writings of these dead, white-men are relevant, nay, essential, to the pilgrim's understanding of the globe of Western Civilization, and, therefore, Elosen's of my favorite passages in 'Nostalgia' focuses upon Thomas Wolfe's 'Look Homeward, Angel' (1929, it is actually an abridged ver of Wolfe's original manuscript, "O Lost: The Story of the Buried Life'). The novel traces the life of Eugene Gant as he flees his roots, his family, and his hometown community (however warped it all appears in his adolescent brain). In exchange, he lusts for individual willfulness and the illusory freedom of flight. He has a conversation with his deceased brother, and he is told, ",,, you are the world" (which in Eugene's case amounts to drinking, sex, and showy verbosity)."O Lost' concludes with these words, "Yet, as he stood for the latest time by the angels of his father's porch, it seemed as if the square already was far and lost; or I should say he was like a man who stands upon a hill above a city he has left, yet does not say "The city is near," but turns his eyes upon the distant soaring ranges." Soaring? No. Lost? Indeed.A book that captures this dichotomy of roots and faux "freedom" from another perspective is Max Picard's "The Flight from God' (1934). Picard juxtaposes "Flight" with "Faith", or rootlessness with piety. Picard's globe of "Faith" is where friendship and marriage are anchored. An interesting book, there are portions that are brilliant, and others that seem baffling (which is likely entirely my own fault).Another book that complements 'Nostalgia' quite well is Pierre Mament's 'Beyond Radical Secularism'. Mament believes that forsaking our cultural heritage means being adrift just like Elosen explains, but on a national scale (or perhaps more properly, Mament posits that radical secularity dissolves the nation, and reduces us to the individual and an abstract "humanity").And what of moral progress? Elosen writes, "... man can no more explore a fresh moral truth than he can invent a fresh color of the spectrum" (p. xxv). His assertions are small various from Solzhenitsyn's: "Progress was understood to be a shining and unswerving vector, but it turned out to be a complex and twisted curve, which has once more brought us to the very same eternal questions which loomed in earlier times, except that facing those questions then was easier for a less distracted, less disconnected mankind" (Liechtenstein, Sept. 14, 1993).For the right audience this book is a unbelievable read (while it is likely to serve as nourishment for pilgrims, it could be dismissed as nonsense by secular iconoclasts trapped in the globe of "I" and the "tyranny of the moment").