Paperback ☆ Our Gang PDF/EPUB Á

Paperback  ☆ Our Gang PDF/EPUB Á
  • Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • Our Gang
  • Philip Roth
  • English
  • 03 November 2017
  • 0375726845

Our Gang❴EPUB❵ ✸ Our Gang Author Philip Roth – Essayreview.co.uk A ferocious political satire in the great tradition, Our Gangis Philip Roth s brilliantly indignant response to the phenomenon of Richard M NixonIn the character of Trick E Dixon, Roth shows us a man A ferocious political satire in the great tradition, Our Gangis Philip Roth s brilliantly indignant response to the phenomenon of Richard M NixonIn the character of Trick E Dixon, Roth shows us a man who outdoes the severest cynic, a peace loving Quaker and believer in the sanctity of human life who doesn t have a problem with killing unarmed women and children in self defense A master politician with an honest sneer, he finds himself battling the Boy Scouts, declaring war on Pro Pornography Denmark, all the time trusting in the basic indifference of the voting public.


About the Author: Philip Roth

Philip Milton Roth was an American novelist He gained early literary fame with the collection Goodbye, Columbus winner of s National Book Award , cemented it with his bestseller Portnoy s Complaint, and has continued to write critically acclaimed works, many of which feature his fictional alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman The Zuckerman novels began with The Ghost Writer in , and include American Pastoral winner of the Pulitzer Prize In May , he won the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement in fiction.


10 thoughts on “Our Gang

  1. says:

    I read this book today and to be honest, it was terrifying Yes, Tricky Dick is long in the grave and apparently trying to usurp Satan if we believe Roth , but the scenario of the book is so close to the insanity of Drumpf that it made me want to scream Whether it was the horrifying week in Washington with the ever insistent attacks on democratic process even before taking office or his public speeches or his fucking tweets , everything about Drumpf is present in Roth s Tricky B Dixon in spa I read this book today and to be honest, it was terrifying Yes, Tricky Dick is long in the grave and apparently trying to usurp Satan if we believe Roth , but the scenario of the book is so close to the insanity of Drumpf that it made me want to scream Whether it was the horrifying week in Washington with the ever insistent attacks on democratic process even before taking office or his public speeches or his fucking tweets , everything about Drumpf is present in Roth s Tricky B Dixon in spades Like in The Plot Against America, Roth called this one 46 years ago It is a darkly comic book, not Roth s finest, but perhaps, if you are not on suicide watch, it is a worthy read to see that, well, we had an inept, racist, sexist, homophobic, anti abortion president at one time and he was kicked out of the office Will history be able to repeat itself I surely hope so Just wait until he starts firing into crowds of Boy Scouts like Dixon does in the book, won t that be a gas Fuck.Yeah, we are already there this book plus The Plot Against America were clear warnings which we missedRIP 1933 2018 One of America s literary giants has left us

  2. says:

    Okay, I ve had some time to think about this book I know political satires are a dime a dozen, but this one works Here are my thoughts Even though it was written almost 40 years ago, and about a president that was less than decorous, I think it still has much clout concerning politics and politicians today That s both side of the aisle for those wondering We ve seen how inadequate our elected officials are and, worse, just how incompetent they can be I think that was the point of this nov Okay, I ve had some time to think about this book I know political satires are a dime a dozen, but this one works Here are my thoughts Even though it was written almost 40 years ago, and about a president that was less than decorous, I think it still has much clout concerning politics and politicians today That s both side of the aisle for those wondering We ve seen how inadequate our elected officials are and, worse, just how incompetent they can be I think that was the point of this novel Sure Nixon and his staff were easy targets Watergate Vietnamization Peace talks that did anything but bring about a peaceful resolution Even Nixon s personality provided all the fodder needed to razz and scorn a political system riff with moral ambiguity That being said, Roth brilliantly evokes a sense of timelessness to this tale He warns us that there is always going to be a Trick E in the White House And too boot, there is always going to be a supporting cast that bumbles through charade after charade trying to invoke a sense of righteousness for the American people via the Highest Office in the Land Political commentary aside, this novel was hilarious In one episode, the National Guard battles the Boy Scouts of America Three scouts are killed in the process and Trick E tries to rationalize why the Guardsmen had a duty and right to defend themselves I hate writing spoilers, so don t take my word for it and go and read this chapter in the book It s chapter three If you are not on the ground laughing, check your pulse In another instance, after Trick E has been assassinated, the way Roth handles the political communications is priceless I was only three when the Actor was shot, so I can t really give any firsthand accounts of what an attack on a president does to a nation, but I have seen how all the recent debacles from Clinton to Obama have been played out in the media Whenever something happens, there are channels and channels of people trying to send out information Not all of this information is true sometimes, the information that is sent out is only a smoke screen to bide some time Roth, through sardonic humor, illustrates this beautifully However, there is one downfall to this novel In the last chapter Trick E is debating Satan and is trying to show the demons of Hell that he would be a better leader than the Prince of Darkness For me, this gets a bit heavy handed Instead of wrapping up a hilarious novel, Roth goes for onejoke and fails Perhaps you ll enjoy this chapter Because of all the laughs that the book provided, I am overlooking my criticisms and giving the book my highest honor It will be reread in the future

  3. says:

    I read this in one sitting, taking a six hour bus ride from Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kampala I can never read forthan an hour or so, especially on buses crying kids, no AC, loud lingala on the stereo, but not with this book Read it right through, no hiccups Our Gang is quite the humourous satire of 1970s America The President s called Trick E Dixon, Vice President s called Blurb, etc It s not funny haha, but it keeps you giggling all through The writing is typical Philip Ro I read this in one sitting, taking a six hour bus ride from Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kampala I can never read forthan an hour or so, especially on buses crying kids, no AC, loud lingala on the stereo, but not with this book Read it right through, no hiccups Our Gang is quite the humourous satire of 1970s America The President s called Trick E Dixon, Vice President s called Blurb, etc It s not funny haha, but it keeps you giggling all through The writing is typical Philip Roth, smooth, short, succinct, a little highbrow, but all the way interesting

  4. says:

    While there are some genuinely funny moments here, this book is mostly unsuccessful and out dated I appreciated reading it to track how Roth s writing continued to develop post Portnoy, but, though the writing itself is stellar, the satire lacked any sort of contemporary bite.

  5. says:

    Living in an era of the non scandal whitewater to Benghazi while the real scandals go unnoticed how many hundreds of William Calleys have gone unseen, un prosecuted, and ignored in Iraq or Afghanistan How come Clinton s cigar placement is a scandal but his sending bombers to devastate civilian populations in Europe in order to halt the genocide of other civilian populations is presented to us as a just and even leftist once they were called doves another endangered species strategy So, a Living in an era of the non scandal whitewater to Benghazi while the real scandals go unnoticed how many hundreds of William Calleys have gone unseen, un prosecuted, and ignored in Iraq or Afghanistan How come Clinton s cigar placement is a scandal but his sending bombers to devastate civilian populations in Europe in order to halt the genocide of other civilian populations is presented to us as a just and even leftist once they were called doves another endangered species strategy So, as we decide, as a nation, to stock up on guns in the name of freedom but willingly sacrifice privacy and dignity at the airport , and to send guns to heartless heart eating Syrian rebels check that out on youtube ew I spied this little piece of paperback American parody circa 1971 in the infamous Watergate edition in my favorite usedbookstore and flipped through it gleefully out by the pool waiting for the summer heat to finally kick in and get me into the water Perfect.Yes, doubly great that Roth spoofed Tricky Dick BEFORE his re election, BEFORE his utter disgrace, and BEFORE the non apocalypse of his whimpering surrender of the reigns of state to as Gil Scott Heron calls him, deliciously Oatmeal Man And it s been a version,or less, of Oatmeal man ever since I m pretty sure that Nixon will go down in history as the last of the great liars, the last actual controversy, the last schemer, the last interesting US president It s all oatmeal from now on as America removes its dentures for a permanent political dotage.However, don t think that Our Gang really satirizes Nixon well, it does, but rather indirectly, and most brilliantly, and aims for and hits spot on the reason why we now live in an era of 24 hour news but know less than nothing about anything any I continue to shock dinner parties by asking people why Bin Laden attacked the USA on September 11th Although we ve heard nothing but words about it for years now, no one seems to know anything about it Go figure Why is that Well, guess who might be qualified to tell us, if not the entertainment run news services Writers, for heaven s sake, because they too, like politicians, work with words and understand how we use words to manipulate feelings and how to make scandals out of thin air, heroes out of idiots who sit and stare while the country is being attacked, and political martyrs out of paranoid schizophrenics completely corrupted and entrenched in fear by their own power the curse of getting what they always thought they wanted.What I m getting at here is to say that Our Gang is all about rhetoric, political rhetoric, the ability of those holding a discourse, those talking heads, to spin us around and around imaginary bubbles of innuendo and obfuscation until we accuse a pregnant Vietnamese villager of coercing Willian Calley into performing an abortion on demand because he slaughtered her along with her whole village Yes, that s where this novel begins and it ends with Nixon s campaign speech in Hell running against Satan for the coveted office of Devil Yes, the Devil that you don t yet knowPS Did you ever notice that president Obama also begins every sentence with And let me make this perfectly clear

  6. says:

    It helps to know about or remember the administration of Richard M Nixon to laugh out loud as I did while reading Roth s great satire, but it s not necessary Our Gang certainly satirized Nixon as well as Spiro Agnew, several Democrats, and a cadre of famous news reporters and commentators , but far beyond that, it satirizes cynical political opportunism that uses rhetoric that sounds reasonable to twist reason into unrecognized train wreckage, no matter the time or place.The book opens with It helps to know about or remember the administration of Richard M Nixon to laugh out loud as I did while reading Roth s great satire, but it s not necessary Our Gang certainly satirized Nixon as well as Spiro Agnew, several Democrats, and a cadre of famous news reporters and commentators , but far beyond that, it satirizes cynical political opportunism that uses rhetoric that sounds reasonable to twist reason into unrecognized train wreckage, no matter the time or place.The book opens with Trick E Dixon s stated position in favor of the rights of the unborn as actually stated in a quote from Richard M Nixon at the beginning of the 1994 edition I read He plans to show his support by introducing a Constitutional Amendment giving them the vote, expecting to secure their votes for himself It rises to his wag the dog attack on Copenhagen, created to distract voters from a Boy Scout protest that he decisively stomps down Dixon unlike Nixon is assassinated, but the double talk or Orwellian White House Spokesmen and wily politicians deny the obvious until it can no longer be ignored.Throughout, Dixon and his advisers pull all of the moves we might decry in today s politics The media goes along blandly, asking predictable questions that allowtwisting of words into bits and pieces of good sounding nonsense One difference today is thatof the political operatives are part of the media today think Limbaugh, Fox News All is revealed as a circus of absurdity designed to distract voters from reality while consolidating power to Tricky Dixon but name your least or most favorite politician or world leader to fill in the blank.The final chapter of Roth s wonderful book might explain the post Nixon rise of Fundamentalism in general and the Tea Party in particular In the final chapter, Dixon has descended into Hell and debates Satan in an attempt to win an election for the office of Devil To explain today s fill in the Fundamentalist Political Movement of the Religion of Your Choice Here , Dixon must have won His new programs are now evident amid the religious distortions, hypocrisy, and viciousness of this surging Fundamentalism.Calling for bold new programs in Evil that will overturn God s kingdom and plunge men into eternal death, he goes on to point out that a major part of the problem is that at least one half of the people presently on earthno longer believe in the existence of Hell, let alone its influence in world affairs And maybe Satan is satisfied that the Devil, the highest official in the underworld, once the very symbol of nefariousness to millions, is considered in the upper regions to have absolutely no power at all over the decisions made there by men Fundamentalists of every persuasion seem determined to re connect us to concepts of the Devil, Satan, and the Evil influences of not their belief not their way of living Dixon apparently won that election Roth hints at, and his minions are on the loose here and abroad, in terrorist circles and Tea Party hypocrisies, trying to getthan half of us to once again fear the Devil, as only the Devil would want us to do

  7. says:

    This is a a genuine laugh out loud work of relentless satire from Roth, targeting the machinations in the final days of the presidency of Trick E Dixon From his heartfelt notion of the sanctity of life for the unborn but for no one living in southeast Asia , his solution to the protests against him by the Boy Scouts imprison them, shoot them , his gripping there s something rotten in the state of Denmark speech before his SPOILER ALERT destruction of the pro pornography regime of Cope This is a a genuine laugh out loud work of relentless satire from Roth, targeting the machinations in the final days of the presidency of Trick E Dixon From his heartfelt notion of the sanctity of life for the unborn but for no one living in southeast Asia , his solution to the protests against him by the Boy Scouts imprison them, shoot them , his gripping there s something rotten in the state of Denmark speech before his SPOILER ALERT destruction of the pro pornography regime of Copenhagen, and his final campaign speech to become the new president of hell Filled with face palm worthy puns, an assiduously adept and alliterative VP, a press secretary so full of spin that the job is actually called the Bilge Secretary, and reporter names that seem to be pulled from Colin Mochrie on Whose Line is it Anyway, we are left, as Roth notes if not stronger, wiser and if not wiser, stronger and if, alas, not either, both as an example, that report was delivered by famed correspondent Erect Severehead Though of course any satire dealing with the presidency has lost some of its bite given what is now allowed and expected of the commander in chief why just today he sided with an ex KGB agent turned dictator against US Intelligence , the fact that this was written in 1971 and is so perfectly accurate in 2018 is a testament to Roth s powers of satire and our political system s power to never change The spin and stupidity becomes so overwhelming that I will conclude this review with the final report from the aforementioned correspondent Blah blah blah blah blah blah fulfillment of the Ameriblah blah blah blah blah blah Blah blah blah one hundred years ago Blah blah blah blah of Galilee And yet those who would surrender hope blah blah blah blah blah Blah blah blah blah cherry blossoms Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah before him Blah blah blah the people Blah blah blah blah blah nation s capital

  8. says:

    This book has not stood the test of time

  9. says:

    Crazy Had not read any Philip Roth My wife thoughtfully picked this up for real cheap at the local library retired book sale An interesting interpretation of the Nixon WH including the real villian, Curt Flood and Denmark Good satire and all therelevant considerin current WH occupant.

  10. says:

    I never read Gulliver s Travels growing up but for many years I assumed it was merely a children s book like Alice s Adventures in Wonderland not realising both were, in fact, satirical works, the former, a transparently anti Whig satire whereas the latter lampooned the ordered, earnest world of Victorian England.When George S Kaufman proclaimed that satire is what closes on Saturday night, he was referring to its ephemeral quality satire dates quickly I would add that political satire date I never read Gulliver s Travels growing up but for many years I assumed it was merely a children s book like Alice s Adventures in Wonderland not realising both were, in fact, satirical works, the former, a transparently anti Whig satire whereas the latter lampooned the ordered, earnest world of Victorian England.When George S Kaufman proclaimed that satire is what closes on Saturday night, he was referring to its ephemeral quality satire dates quickly I would add that political satire dates twice as quickly Probably because the painful realities it mocks are all too immediate, political satire seems particularly funny while it is fresh But the intensity of satiric humour is often inversely proportional to its durability Try looking at the opening monologue from last year s Tonight Show We don t even get the jokes Or look at any reruns of Saturday Night Live that bash then current presidents For every political satire that remains funny, there are a dozen that could be called Saturday Night Dead Elisabeth Weis, M A S H Notes , Play It Again, Sam Retakes on Remakes, p.311There is no doubt that Philip Roth s novel Our Gang is dated I was thirteen at the time of the Watergate scandal and although I took note it was hard to ignore even here in the UK I can t say I was especially interested or cared that much I knew who Nixon was but I didn t know anything about him That was not the case in the Roth household Richard Nixon was known as a crook in our kitchen twenty odd years before this dawned on the majority of Americans as a real possibility Conversations with Philip Roth, p.87 In Reading Myself And Others he wrote The wonder of Nixon and contemporary America is that a man so transparently fraudulent, if not on the edge of mental disorder, could ever have won the confidence and approval of a people who generally require at least a little something of the human touch in their leaders Sound familiar This book should ve had its day That it hasn t underlines what Hegel said two hundred years ago We learn from history that we do not learn from history Okay there s a lot people won t get here, the specifics, but the gist will be all too familiar, as Roth put it, the fine art of governmental lying Conversations with Philip Roth, p.54 L et s not underestimate the imagination of the American people This may seem like old fashioned patriotism such as isn t in fashion any , but I have the highest regard for their imagination and I always have Why, I actually think the American people can be made to believe anything Roth takes as his jumping off point a statement Nixon released in San Clemente on April 3rd 1971 From personal and religious beliefs I consider abortions an unacceptable form of population control Further, unrestricted abortion policies, or abortion on demand, I cannot square with my personal belief in the sanctity of human life including the life of the yet unborn for, surely, the unborn have rights also, recognized in law, recognized even in principles expounded by the United Nations Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States Richard M Nixon, 1971, p.500In the book the president, Trick E Dixon, has strong views about the rights of the unborn I will not be intimidated by extremists or militants or violent fanatics from bringing justice and equality to those who live in the womb And let me make one thingperfectly clear I am not just talking about the rights of the foetus I am talking about the microscopic embryos as well If ever there was a group in this country that was disadvantaged, in the sense that they are utterly without representation or a voice in our national government, it is not the blacks or the Puerto Ricans or the hippies or what have you, all of whom have their spokesmen, but these infinitesimal creatures up there on the placenta Sounds commendable enough until you realise what s driving him, the desire to be re elected He proposes to extend the vote to the unborn in time for the 72 elections It s ludicrous of course but that s the whole point I would be less than candid if I didn t say that when election time rolls around, of course the embryos and foetuses of this country are likely to remember just who it was that struggled in their behalf, while others were addressing themselves to thepopular and fashionable issues of the day I think they will remember who it was that devoted himself, in the midst of a war abroad and racial crisis at home, to making this country a fit place for the unborn to dwell in pride Satire is meant to be over the top just look at something like Spitting Image but there is always a danger that the important message gets lost along the way That said, Dwight McDonald, in his review for The New York Times in 1971 wrote, Of course it s all very exaggerated, one sided, fantastic, etc Common sense tells us that But common sense is, as often, wrong He then goes on to quote Jules Feiffer from a interview he did with Playboy That s all satire is creating a logical argument that, followed to its end, is absurd Satire concerns itself with logically extending a premise to its totally insane conclusion, thus forcing onto an audience certain unwelcome awarenesses To that end the book ends with Dixon in hell having been assassinated and although the rest of the book has lost its edge this final chapter is razor sharp Dixon, feeling that Satan could ve done a better job, has decided to run for the position of Devil The whole chapter in which he addressed the Fallen is worth quoting but I ll content myself with three brief excerpts L et me make one thing perfectly clear Much as I respect and admire his lies, I don t think that lies are something to stand on I think they are something to build on I don t think anyone, man or demon, can ever rely upon the lies he has told in the past, bold and audacious as they may have been at the time, to distort today s realities We live in an era of rapid and dramatic change My own experience has shown that yesterday s lies are just not going to confuse today s problems You cannot expect to mislead people next year the way you misled them a year ago, let alone a million years ago N ot even Satan, I think, with the support of all his legions, would claim that he could bring a nation with a strong democratic tradition and the highest standard of living in the world to utter ruination in only a thousand days Indeed, despite my brief tenure in the White House, I firmly believe that I was able to maintain and perpetuate all that was evil in American life when I came to power Further I think I can safely say that I was able to lay the groundwork for new oppressions and injustices and to sow seeds of bitterness and hatred between the races, the generations and the social classes that hopefully will plague the American people for years to come Surely I did nothing whatsoever to decrease the eventuality of a nuclear holocaust, but rather continued to make progress in that direction by maintaining policies of belligerence, aggression and subversion around the globe L et me say, as regards those wholly unfounded attacks upon my bad name, that I intend, after this broadcast, to issue a black paper, showing that in every single instance where they claim I was humane or benevolent, I was in actual fact motivated solely by political self interest, and acted with utter indifference, if not outright contempt and cynicism, for the welfare of anybody other than myself If you re going to read this read it now It s never beentimely and Christ knows how much time you ll have left to read it.If you re interested in Nixon s own response to the book you should read Jon Wiener s article in the Los Angeles Review of Books which includes excerpts from the White House tapes from February 1971 to July 1973

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