Tuesday, November 5, 2013

There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos

1997, first edition, from HarperCollins
Jim Hightower
There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos
Original price $23.00, purchase price unknown
Hardcover in pretty good condition

Molly Ivins's friend and fellow Texan Hightower, not to mention the former state Agriculture Commissioner, obviously shares her progressiveness and down-home wit.  He focuses on economics much more than Ivins does, and he blasts not only greedy corporations but the politicians, including Clinton, who egg them on.  Even when he's writing about pollution or the media, it comes back to the corporations.  As such, the book gets a bit redundant as it goes on.  Probably the best essay/subsection is "Vernon Jordan's Dream," where Hightower manages to be quotable at least four times in six pages:

  • "smarter than a tree full of owls"
  • "I was one of the few delegates who did not claim to be an F.O.B. (Friend of Bill), if not actually claiming to have been his roommate at Oxford (of course he didn't inhale, the room was too filled with roommates to breathe!"
  • "As blues master Albert Collins put it in one of his songs: 'Too many dirty dishes in the sink for just us two/ You got me worried, baby/ Who made them dirty dishes with you?'"
  • And quoting Mr. Jordan, "'This is why we must have Bill Clinton, a Democrat, in the White House.  Miller beer is owned by Philip Morris, and I represent them in Washington.  I want you to know that I'm tired of taking my clients in to see a Republican President, I want them to be able to walk into the Oval Office and be greeted by a Democrat!'  And you say there is no idealism, no crusading spirit, no dreamers left in the Democratic Party."  

If I remember correctly, Helen Caldicott's book was the first of mine to mention an author's website, although her address has changed in the past 16 years.  But the URL mentioned on this dust jacket, www.jimhightower.com, is still going strong.  And I've got one of his later books,
Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush, coming up in 2004....

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