Working On a Dream: The Progressive Political Vision of Bruce Springsteen (Continuum Books, 2010)
“Insightful, brilliant at times.” – In These Times
“Musical journalism definitely well-worth reading.” – The Morning Star (UK)
“This book gives you the hope that music can challenge people and help change their situations.” – Family First (UK)
Available at Amazon
Against Traffic: Essays on Politics and Identity is a compelling and provocative collection essays from one of America’s most versatile and forceful young writers. David Masciotra, who writes about pop culture for PopMatters, literature for the Daily Beast, politics for Front Porch Republic, and religion for Relevant, turns his clear eyes, powerful intellect, and large imagination toward the fiasco of American politics. What follows is a blistering attack on the clichés of the left and right, and the superficiality, tribalism, and frivolity of the American political scene.
In the title essay, Against Traffic, Masciotra takes readers through his deeply personal and political travels from the ideological trap of big government liberalism to the open ground of neighborhood empowerment, communal enlivenment, and what Norman Mailer called “Left Conservatism.” The essay also deals with the importance of literature, the arts, existential Christianity, and localism in the formulation of an edifying politics, citing figures as diverse as Albert Camus, Cornel West, Gore Vidal, and Pope Benedict.
Masciotra shoots through the delusions of most pundits by indicting both big government and big business. President Obama, the liberals who have defended his disastrous policies, and the Republican Party are all undressed as equally culpable in the destruction of the American community and family. The political solution that Masciotra offers will surprise and please anyone concerned about the maximization of freedom and the empowerment of the everyday person.
Against Traffic: Essays on Politics and Identity not only issues brilliant commentary on American politics, but also examines how independence, rebellion, and liberty are possible in an American culture committed to groupthink, party loyalty, and conformity.
Against Traffic, which in addition to the grand title essay includes an open letter challenging President Obama’s supporters, an examination of the death of the American Empire, an exploration of the “dangerous alliance between big business and big government”, and a eulogy celebrating the life and career of Gore Vidal, is a must read book for Americans fighting to free themselves from the shackles of America’s dysfunctional, and often diabolical, political system and culture.
It is a unique work of insight into how Americans can resist the restrictions of American politics, and live with strength, courage, and conviction. Buy it on Amazon.
David Masciotra is currently at work on two books: Faith That Won’t Die – a combination of memoir, cultural criticism, and journalism that gives a provocative and insightful look at life in America’s rust belt, and All That We Learned About Livin’: The Art and Legacy of John Mellencamp – the first serious study of John Mellencamp’s music and career.