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Confessions of a Guilty Freelancer
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William O'Rourke's singular view of American life over the past 40 years shines forth in these short essays on subjects personal, political, and literary, which reveal a man of keen intellect and wide-ranging interests. They embrace everything from the state of the nation after 9/11 to the author's encounter with rap, from the masterminds of political makeovers to the rich variety of contemporary American writing. His reviews illuminate both the books themselves and the times in which we live, and his personal reflections engage even the most fearful events with a special humor and gentle pathos. Readers will find this richly rewarding volume difficult to put down.

Table of Contents

  1. Frontispiece, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-x
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xv-xxv
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  1. part one
  2. pp. xxvi-xxviii
  1. Here's Mine
  2. pp. 1-16
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  1. Richard Elman
  2. pp. 17-20
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  1. Grace Paley
  2. pp. 21-22
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  1. My Rap Problems- and Yours?
  2. pp. 23-26
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  1. Arming Yourself for the Outdoors
  2. pp. 27-29
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  1. Two Midwest Meditations
  2. pp. 30-41
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  1. Dear Dad
  2. pp. 42-45
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  1. Confessions of a Guilty Freelancer
  2. pp. 46-67
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  1. part two
  2. pp. 68-70
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  1. Extreme Makeover: TV Home Improvement from Carter to Bush II
  2. pp. 71-100
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  1. Five Male chroniclers of Bill Clinton and His World: Christopher Hitchens, Michael Isikoff, Andrew Morton, George Stephanopoulos, Bob Woodward
  2. pp. 101-118
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  1. 9/11: What We Saw
  2. pp. 119-124
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  1. Blue & Red America Post September 11th
  2. pp. 125-132
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  1. Virginia Tech
  2. pp. 133-135
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  1. Imus
  2. pp. 136-138
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  1. Susan Braudy: Family Circle
  2. pp. 139-145
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  1. Joe Conason: Big Lies
  2. pp. 146-149
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  1. Daniel Ellsberg: Secrets
  2. pp. 150-153
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  1. John Frohnmayer: Leaving Town Alive
  2. pp. 154-158
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  1. Dick Morris: Off With Their Heads
  2. pp. 159-163
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  1. Kevin Phillips: American Dynasty (1)
  2. pp. 164-169
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  1. Kevin Phillips: American Theocracy (2)
  2. pp. 170-173
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  1. Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose: Bushwacked
  2. pp. 174-177
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  1. Robert B. Reich: Reason
  2. pp. 178-181
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  1. David McCullough: John Adams
  2. pp. 182-186
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  1. Edmund Morris: Theodore Rex
  2. pp. 187-191
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  1. Steve Neal: Happy Days Are Here Again
  2. pp. 192-196
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  1. Amanda Smith: Hostage to Fortune: The Letters of Joseph P. Kennedy
  2. pp. 197-201
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  1. John A. Farrell: Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century
  2. pp. 202-207
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  1. part three
  2. pp. 208-210
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  1. Raymond Carver: Hemingway Without Money
  2. pp. 211-218
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  1. Michael Ryan: Secret Life
  2. pp. 219-223
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  1. Philip Graham: How to Read an Unwritten Language
  2. pp. 224-227
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  1. Tim O'Brien: In the Lake of the Woods
  2. pp. 256-231
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  1. Peter Dexter: The Paperboy
  2. pp. 232-235
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  1. John Updike: The Afterlife and Other Stories
  2. pp. 236-239
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  1. John McGahern and Colm Tóibín: Collected Stories, The Heather Blazing
  2. pp. 240-244
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  1. Jim Crace: Signals of Distress
  2. pp. 245-248
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  1. Robert Olen Butler: They Whisper
  2. pp. 249-252
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  1. Richard Ford: Independence Day
  2. pp. 253-257
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  1. Harvey Jacobs: American Goliath
  2. pp. 258-266
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  1. Thomas Keneally: American Scoundrel
  2. pp. 267-270
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  1. John L'Heureux: The Miracle
  2. pp. 271-277
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  1. Toby Olson and Ellen Akins: At Sea, Public Life
  2. pp. 278-281
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  1. Pinckney Benedict: Dogs of God
  2. pp. 282-286
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  1. Rick Bass: Platte River
  2. pp. 287-291
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  1. Michael Stephens: The Brooklyn Book of the Dead
  2. pp. 292-295
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  1. Graham Swift: Last Orders
  2. pp. 296-303
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  1. Bob Shacochis: Swimming in the Volcano
  2. pp. 304-307
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  1. Willie Morris: New York Days
  2. pp. 308-311
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  1. Forward to the Past: The SLF Album
  2. pp. 312-324
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  1. Andrew Levy: The Culture and Commerce of the American Short Story
  2. pp. 325-330
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. 331-332
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 333-354
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 355-356
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