A timely, interrogative, passionate but even-handed exploration of the state of US politics, from the New York Times bestselling author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
As Ben Fountain sees it, the United States is facing its third existential crisis. The first was the struggle over slavery, culminating in the Civil War. The second was the Great Depression, the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialised world, which brought about the New Deal. The third, is Donald Trump. But how will it end?
Taking in America’s love affair with firearms, celebrity culture, Russia, Obamacare, Hillary Clinton and, of course, Trump himself, Beautiful Country Burn Again explores how the United States reached a new crisis point and asks how America really can be great again.
“The highly acclaimed novelist brandishes a full array of literary tools, including song, verse, historical anecdotes, piles of research and plenty of satisfying takedowns to keep you on his ride … Fountain wants the country to burn. No one gets out of his book unscathed … His brutal observations could easily be the main feature of his work, yet Fountain has more important things to say and more ingenious ways to say them”
new York Times
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“Elegiac … Pitched halfway between political reportage and Great American Novel, it breathes literary life back into what has become a very familiar story”
“No book published this year gave me more pleasure than Ben Fountain’s Beautiful Country Burn Again, a wide-ranging collection of despatches about the Trump election campaign. Very much in the freewheeling tradition of Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer and Joan Didion, it’s a stylistic tour de force and very funny”
new Statesman, Best Books Of 2018
“A masterpiece of a book, the true story of American possibility”
David Finkel, The Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Of The Good Soldiers
“His eye for the absurd and ability to draw attention to the sheer strangeness of America made him a perfect observer of 2016 … Funny and also horrifying, Fountain has spectacular historical reach”
Ben Fountain is the author of the acclaimed short-story collection Brief Encounters with Che Guevara and the novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and the 2012 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2012 National Book Award. The film adaptation of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk was directed by Ang Lee. In addition, he has received the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, an O. Henry Award and two Pushcart Prizes. He was also shortlisted for the International Author of the Year Award in 2012.
His writing has been published in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Zoetrope: All-Story and Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, The New York Times and the Guardian among other publications. He lives in Dallas, Texas.