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My Years With Guns

The gun “issue” is woven with the strands of American history. It is also made from politics, culture, identity, passion, power, and, of course, fear.

Cul-de-Sac In Context

In the winter of 1998, Garrett Scott was living in Oakland, working as a waiter and slowly putting together his first film about an unemployed plumber who stole a tank and rampaged across San Diego.

Inside Cul de Sac

I met Garrett through an early “manuscript” of Cul-de-Sac he left on our kitchen table. It was 1999 and I was floundering in San Francisco.

The splendid asylum of impersonating Kris Kringle

An excerpt from Mohr’s third novel, Damascus, due out this fall from Two Dollar Radio.

A Buenos Aires Memory

In the summer of 2006, I was planning a trip to Buenos Aires and Brazil. I sort of knew this then, but I certainly see this now: my life was quite adrift, not in a tragic or irrevocable sense, but enough to annoy me.

Kraków Here and There

A pulsing taste of culture in the Krakow mode unfolds in early April, when the Unsound Festival arrives again.

A Night in the Foxwoods

Foxwoods Resort, submerged as it is in the misty, ancient, and somewhat decrepit woods of northern Connecticut is a weird juxtaposition of H.P. Lovecraft and Las Vegas. One expects to see “Yog Sothoth Got Divorced Here, So Can You!” on bumper stickers. 

Cyber Wars 2.0

If you are reading this review from the Rail’s website, you should pick up a copy of Evgeny Morozov’s The Net Delusion. Once you get past the author’s straw-man bashing of those he dubs “cyber-utopians” and the foreign-policy establishment’s Manichean antinomies of “democracy” and “authoritarian” countries, you can learn much about how the “dark side” of the Internet works.

In Dubious Battle

Let us not mince words: if there is one element of Republican governance that truly does trickle down, it is its pernicious incompetence.

Addicted to Polymers

My review copy of Susan Freinkel’s forthcoming Plastic: A Toxic Love Story featured a blurb in the biography declaring that Freinkel’s previous effort, American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree, was “a perfect book.”

Amongst the Ruins

Paul Clemens’s new book, Punching Out: One Year In a Closing Auto Plant, is a personal, upfront look at the desertion of the Motor City, and the effect that the automobile industry’s outsourcing has had on the city and the people on whose backs its wealth was created.

Still Looking For a Cure

It’s pleasant to think that we’re long past the time when illness was attributed to divine retribution. Nowadays, we understand that most disease has an external cause.

BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN: ROBIN HESSMAN in Conversation with Williams Cole

As a rebellious and idealistic teenager in the mid-1980s I was obsessed with figuring out why the USSR was called the “Evil Empire” since it was also a place that—I was told through other channels—guaranteed food, health care and education for everyone.

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APR 2011

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