The Shape of Things to Come

Prophecy and the American Voice by Greil Marcus

  • Published: Sep 28, 2020

From the author of Mystery Train and Lipstick Traces, an exhilarating and provocative investigation of the tangle of American identity "America is a place and a story, made up of exuberance and suspicion, crime and liberation, lynch mobs and escapes;... read more

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Details of The Shape of Things to Come

Exact title of the book
The Shape of Things to Come
Book author
Greil Marcus
ISBN
9781466804227
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Aug 21, 2007
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
336
File size (in PDF)
3024 kB

Some brief overview of book

From the author of Mystery Train and Lipstick Traces, an exhilarating and provocative investigation of the tangle of American identity "America is a place and a story, made up of exuberance and suspicion, crime and liberation, lynch mobs and escapes; its greatest testaments are made of portents and warnings, biblical allusions that lose all certainty in the American air." It is this story of self-invention and nationhood that Greil Marcus rediscovers, beginning with John Winthrop's invocation of America as a "city on the hill," Lincoln's second inaugural address, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech about his American dream. Listening to these prophetic founding statements, Marcus explores America's promise as a New Jerusalem and the nature of its covenant first with God, and then with its own citizens. In the nineteenth century, this vision of the nation's story was told in public as part of common discourse, to be fought over in plain speech and flights of gorgeous rhetoric.

Since then, Marcus argues, it has become cryptic, a story told more in art than in politics. He traces it across the continent and through time, hearing the tale in the disparate voices of writers, filmmakers, performers, and actors Philip Roth, David Lynch, David Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, Sheryl Lee, and Bill Pullman. In The Shape of Things to Come, the future and the past merge in extraordinary and uncanny ways, and Marcus proves once again that he is our most imaginative and original cultural critic.

About author

Marcus is the author of nine previous books, including The Old, Weird America and Like a Rolling Stone. He lives in Berkeley, California.

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