It's Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, when ex-patriots, artists, and colorful bums are kings. A tiny stand selling empanadas near the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal streets is the center of the action for the shy narrator, an aspiring writer just out of college. At the stand he falls in with a crowd of kooky outcasts from Argentina who introduce him to their raucous adventures, melodramatic dreamsand women, particularly a tough little flamenco dancer from Buenos Aires. Charming and insightful, this deceptively simple novel is a tale told by a master. It is a wise coming-of-age story, full of joyand touched by heartbreak, that captures a special time and place with extraordinary empathy and humor.
Donald Trump is putting together the most dangerous cabinet in history. Showing no inclination toward moderation, tolerance or genuine bipartisanship, he has assembled a team that is backed with billionaires, CEOs, rigid ideologues and a rogue's gallery of white nationalists, alt-right hatemongers, voter-suppression schemers, immigrant bashers and climate-change deniers. The people Trump is bringing into his inner circle and handing positions of immense authority make no secret of their determination to impose an uncompromising and ultimately unworkable conservative agenda on a country where most Americans did not vote for Donald Trump or the Congress that will advance his policies.
The Trump team, consisting of famously controversial figures and little-known but potentially even more dangerous mandarins, may not have mandate. But it will have the power to remake American foreign policy, redistribute wealth upward and suppress wages, destroy unions, dismantle Medicare and Medicaid, undermine abortion rights and affirmative action, privatize and voucherize education, make health care a privilege rather than a right and create a climate of fear and intimidation for immigrants, refugees, religious and racial minorities and Americans who dare to dissent.
This is about much more than one man; this is about a wrecking crew with the power to transform everything we know about America and to make our country and our world a more dangerous place. If we are going to navigate the next four years and have the tools to fight back, we need to know who will be handling the levers of power. And we need to know how to challenge their excesses.
Enter John Nichols, veteran political correspondent at The Nation, who has been covering many of these deplorables for decades. Sticking to the hard facts and unafraid to dig deep into histories and the ideologies of the people who make up Trump's inner circle, Nichols will deliver a clear-eyed and complete guide to who these people really are. This is not a laundry list of the high-profile politicians we are already familiar with -- in these pages Nichols will examine and expose all the new power players, including those who operate below the headlines but that can still cause immeasurable damage.
Joe Mondragon, a feisty hustler with a talent for trouble, slammed his battered pickup to a stop, tugged on his gumboots, and marched into the arid patch of ground. Carefully (and also illegally), he tapped into the main irrigation channel. And so began-though few knew it at the time-the Milagro beanfield war. But like everything else in the dirt-poor town of Milagro, it would be a patchwork war, fought more by tactical retreats than by battlefield victories. Gradually, the small farmers and sheepmen begin to rally to Joe's beanfield as the symbol of their lost rights and their lost lands. And downstate in the capital, the Anglo water barons and power brokers huddle in urgent conference, intent on destroying that symbol before it destroys their multimillion-dollar land-development schemes. The tale of Milagro's rising is wildly comic and lovingly ter, a vivid portrayal of a town that, half-stumbling and partly prodded, gropes its way toward its own stubborn salvation.
The seventies are over. All across America, the overgrown kids of the middle class are getting their acts together--and getting older. The once-tight Chicano community of Chamisaville is long gone, and the Anglo power brokers control almost everything. Joe Miniver--faithful husband, loving father, and all-around good guy—is about to sink roots. To buy the land he wants, he dreams up a coke scam that will net him the necessary bread. Joe is also about to embark on a series of erotic adventures with three headstrong women, bringing him face-to-face with the terrors (and absurdity) of the modern man-woman scene.
This final volume in the New Mexico trilogy, like its predecessors, is a lusty, visionary novel that blends comedy and tragedy, reality and fantasy, tenderness and bite, to illuminate some very troubling truths about America--truths no less pointed and accurate today than they were twenty years ago.
John Nichols is the author of nine novels and six works of nonfiction. He lives in Northern New Mexico.