NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
“Savagery appeased can only grow. Once you give in to it, it must escalate, like a fire searching for air.”
The man who won the Pulitzer Prize for GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, who wrote the classic films THE VERDICT and WAG THE DOG sounds his alarm about the Visigoths at our gates.
In RECESSIONAL he calls out, skewers, mocks, and, most importantly, dissects the virus of conformity which is now an existential threat to the West.
A broad-ranging journey through history, the Bible, and literature, RECESSIONAL examines how politics and cultural attitudes about rebellion have shifted in the United States in the last generation. By screaming down freedom of thought and expression, Mamet explains, we kill invention and democracy – the foundations of security and growth.
A wickedly funny, wistful and wry appeal to the free-thinking citizen, RECESSIONAL is a vital warning that if we don’t confront the cultural thuggery now, the commissars and their dupes will transform the Land of the Free into the dictatorship at which they aim.
Pulitzer-winning playwright Mamet (The Secret Knowledge) mixes political and cultural commentary in these pugnacious if undercooked essays written during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. Though Mamet's incisive wit and sharp turns-of-phrase are on display, they're employed in the service of typical right-wing talking points about how universities, the mainstream media, unions, and "elected leaders on the coasts" have "conspired to divide and conquer" America. The most cogent pieces include "Demotic, a Confession," in which Mamet expresses regret at his involvement in the 1970s counterculture, and "Humility," which reflects on the habits of aging writers ("exuberance, once exhausted, is not seen again"). Elsewhere, Mamet delivers a near-incoherent screed against the "envenomed prigs" who expect theater audiences to "drag themselves... to pediatric lectures on diversity," and laments the lack of middle-class housing in Los Angeles and New York City while contending that "there is no way to reverse the trend of commerce." Though the cultural criticism occasionally hits the mark, the collection's scattershot quality and grumpy politics will try the patience of all but the most dedicated Mamet fan. These tossed-off musings are more tiresome than edifying.
Started with a historical argument about media bias that made some sense, but goes off the rails within a few pages. Dismisses all things as a liberal agenda without any basis. This is just propaganda.