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03/10/2007 Archived Entry: "Can America Be Saved from Stupid People -- New book by Dave Duffy"

CAN AMERICA BE SAVED FROM STUPID PEOPLE. No, that's apparently not a question (no question mark). It's the title of a new book by Dave Duffy, editor and publisher of Backwoods Home magazine.

Every time I get a new issue of BHM, the first thing I turn to is Dave's editorials. Next, I gobble up any of John Silveira's myth-debunking articles of historical or scientific inquiry. John's articles are always eye-openers, but they require the labor of heavy concentration. Dave's editorials, on the other hand, are quick, pleasurable reads -- yet stay in the mind, sometimes for years after.

Can America Be Saved from Stupid People is a compilation of the best of those editorials from the last 15 years or so. Read one or two before bedtime each night or with your morning coffee and you'll find yourself smiling or contemplating or delving into your own memories.

The book's title comes from one of those editorials. Dave doesn't answer his own question, but gives a few pages of historical perspective. Not all the opinion pieces are as political as that one. Under headings ranging through "Life," "Love," "Self-Reliance," "Media," "Guns and Crime," "Terrorism and War," "Stupid People" (of course), and "Death," Dave ponders ... well, everything.

There's only one essay under the topic "Love." But for romantics, it's a doozy. Only two under the heading "Death." But one is an unforgettable piece about Dave's Vietnam-wracked brother "Sgt. Jim Duffy -- An Ordinary Hero." Dave rambles through Y2K (now that one'll take you down memory lane) and through the present with "The Government Gorilla in Our Home." He grouses over Americans' ignorance of basic statistics, reviews lessons to be learned from Ayn Rand, and ponders preparedness, stubbornness, and common sense.

Dave is libertarian-conservative. I'm libertarian-anarchist. I'm pretty sure Wolfesblog readers won't always agree with him. But on most things, we're in accord.

I'm thinking that this would be a nice book to keep around the house for guests to pick up and read. It could be a gentle way of opening eyes, of giving friends and relatives a non-head-banging introduction to some things that really matter. You can pick it up for a minute and get something out of it. You can read for an hour -- whatever. While I'm sure most buyers will be readers and fans of Backwoods Home, you don't have to live the gulching life to appreciate the man's thinking or writing.

This 287-page paperback contains nearly 60 essays and sells for $19.95, postpaid. You can save bux by ordering two copies for $30.00 (and more on larger orders).

A disclosure: I'll receive a commission on any copies sold through links in this blog entry. Also on any copies ordered from this address:

Backwoods Home Magazine, P.O. Box 712-W1, Gold Beach, OR 97444

I'd recommend the book in any case because I really love Dave's writing. So if you feel strongly that it's not fair game for a reviewer to receive money from a reviewed book, then go to the BHM site via some other avenue than my links. Or delete the "W1" from the snail-mailing address. That will cut me out of the transaction. But do get a copy. Because it's a good read whose thoughts will stay with you.

Posted by Claire @ 09:57 AM CST

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