Articles by Michael Bourne

September 14, 2017

Publishing a Novel, as Explained to Aliens 7

Much of Under the Cover is written in a curiously anthropological tone, as if Childress were explaining how to eat a bowl of cereal to a race of aliens who had never seen a spoon.

August 21, 2017

When the Beasts Spoke: Thoreau and the Sound of America 0

One of the pleasures of Walls’s Thoreau is seeing how Thoreau’s stubborn refusal to lead an ordinary life turned a bright, but otherwise rather ordinary young man into a great and original artist.

July 20, 2017

Trouble in Paradise: The Millions Interviews Julia Fierro 0

Writing and reading is how I practice my humanity and to write only within my limited experience seems counterproductive, and cowardly.

March 16, 2017

An Inside Job: Lessons from Watergate for the Trump Era 1

Since much of the material being leaked about alleged connections between Trump and Russia involves classified national security matters, Trump can plausibly threaten to prosecute the leakers. And, unlike Nixon, Trump has a stalwart Republican majority in both houses of Congress.

February 13, 2017

Flying Blind: Truth, Journalism, and the Digital Age 0

Without that truth-seeking ecosystem of healthy small- and mid-size daily newspapers to explain national news in terms local readers can understand, Americans are left stewing in separate echo chambers, one urban, educated, and liberal, the other working-class, rural, and spoiling for a fight.

December 4, 2016

A Year in Reading: Michael Bourne 0

The election of Donald Trump on a wave of white aggrievement changed the way I read A Country Road, a Tree, as I suspect it will change the way I read and understand everything in the years to come.

August 2, 2016

Rich People Problems: On Jay McInerney’s ‘Bright, Precious Days’ 2

That sound you hear in the background is the world’s smallest violin playing “New York, New York.”

July 18, 2016

White Lives Matter: On Nancy Isenberg’s ‘White Trash’ 7

Isenberg appears to have decided to write a history of poor white America and then persuaded herself that poor black America was only tangential to her story.

June 21, 2016

Make the Western Canon Great Again! 11

I’ll ban all books by immigrant writers until we can figure out what the hell is going on with the Western Canon.

June 9, 2016

Ernest Hemingway: Middlebrow Revolutionary 31

Like many men who pride themselves on their toughness and self-reliance, Hemingway was almost comically insecure and prone to betray anyone who had the effrontery to do him a favor.