Book recommendation from Jim Craven

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Oct 10 06:40:27 MDT 1999

Hi Louis,

I'm up north and will go to the Free Leonard Peltier demo on the US-Canadian
border tomorrow; I'll say hi to everyone for you.

I got a new book yesterday and can't put it down. You can send the
recommendation to pen-l and marxism-lists. The name of the book is
"Discovering America As it Is: Still Dreaming the American Dream?" by Valdas
Anelauskas, Clarity Press, 1999, Atlanta, Ga. ( 1-800-626-4330;
clarity at <mailto:clarity at> . This book is
something else.

Howard Zinn says: "This is an extraordinary book, especially startling not
because it is a diligently researched and scathing critique of contemporary
America, but because it is written by a Soviet dissident who arrived here
with great expectations and discvered a sobering reality. The scope of the
book is breathtaking, a sweeping survey, factually precise and
philosophically provocative, which deserves to be compared to de
Tocqueville's 19th century classic. I hope it will be widely read.

Ward Churchill says: "Valdas Anelauskas' "Discovering America As It Is"
illuminates the dark corners of U.S. history and current events, and draws
all the right conclusions. If just one-in-ten lifelong Americans had ever
bothered themselves to learn as much about their country as has this recent
Lithuanian immigrant, the horrors he writes about would never have existed.
This is must reading for the entire population."

This author Anelauskas, a former anti-Communist, pro-capitalist Libertarian,
a celeb dissident kicked out of Lithuania, who worked for various CIA fronts
and wound up doing more front work for CIA fronts and with the likes of
Gingrich, Lott and a bunch of ultra-rightist Republicans when he came to the
U.S. went through quite a metamorphosis (partly caused by treated like
excess inventory to be deeply discounted after the "end" of the "Cold War"
and former anti-communist dissidents being a dime a dozen to those who used
to use them as propaganda tools) writes an exhaustive, current stats-ridden
analysis of American society as a warning to future immigrants looking for
"mecca" in the U.S. In the first chapter entitled "My Journey to the Land of
Misery and Plutocracy" he writes:

"After living here and having myself seen the American capitalist reality in
extreme for long enough, I have no doubt about it either. All those horrible
developments in Russia, Lithuania and elsewhere are coming mainly from here,
from America. I see these very things around me here every day. That is why
I no longer have illusions about this country and the capitalist system.
What I have seen here is fundamental injustice, brutal exploitation,
ruthless competition, vulgar materialism, rampant consumerism, morbid
individualism, obscene greed, odious hypocrisy, ad nauseum...This whole
society is like one huge Jerry Springer show. It is totally sick.
When I had to study the works of Karl Marx in school, I wasn't attracted by
his ideas very much. It was required work assigned with little inspiration.
But my experiences have enabled me to see more clearly. Perhaps the "old
fellow" Marx was right about more than he was wrong. It took me years of
living in the citadel of capitalism to comprehend how it really works, and
to become a staunch supporter of democratic socialism. The sickening reality
of America has transformed me from a sort of pro-capitalist libertarian into
a socialist to the core." (pp. 33-34)

I highly recommend this book and you can pass the recommendation along. His
research skills are excellent. The Chapters are entitled:
Intro: My Journey to the land of misery and plutocracy;
1 The best system the monied can buy;
2 The tears of the poor;
3 Lives that end at birth;
4 The destruction of family values;
5 The sorry state of education;
6 Third world housing in first world america;
7 Desperate people do desperate things;
8. Socialism for the rich;
9. The sinking of American labor;
10 Ending welfare, keeping poverty;
11 Workfare: Arbeit macht frei;
12 Oppressed minds;
13 The new world order takes shape.

Keep the faith,


Louis Proyect

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