A Colossal Wreck: A Road Trip Through Political Scandal, Corruption, And American Culture
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A Colossal Wreck: A Road Trip Through Political Scandal, Corruption, And American Culture

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  32 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Alexander Cockburn was without question one of the most influential journalists of his generation, whose writing stems from the best tradition of Mark Twain, H.L. Menchken and Tom Paine. Colossal Wreck, his final work, finished shortly before his death in July 2012, exemplifies the prodigious literary brio that made Cockburn’s name.

Whether ruthlessly exposing Beltway hypoc...more
Hardcover, 498 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Verso (first published September 1st 2013)
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Peter Mcloughlin
This is a collection of entries from the last years of life of Alexander Cockburn a frequent contributing journalist to the nation magazine. This book gives short journal like entries from 1994 to 2012 the last years of Cockburn's life. He travels around the country and comments on our decaying political and cultural scene. He is very opinionated especially about fellow figures on the political left like Christopher Hitchens and George Orwell. It is kind of fascinating that even though Cockburn...more
I have to admit: I only read the 1st 100 pages. This is a REALLY long book.

There really isn't a plot of any sort, it's a mishmash of short stories. Cockburn may have been intelligent, but he was not concise.
Gnarly Authenticity .
Cockburn, a sprightly gnome of an old Communist recently gone to the great Party moot in the sky, was possessed by the same love for Americana that affected others of his cohort of boomer limeys such as Jagger & Richards, or Lennon & McCartney; all men who came of age at the peak of mid-20th century US cultural dominance: the bargelike finned vehicles, the romance of route 66, all that Wild West/Kerouac crap.

Despite his loathing for corporate imperialism and his extensive knowledge of th...more
Mr. Cockburn saw Barack Obama coming a mile away, like folks like me unfortunately did not. Had I been aware of his assenting vote for the FISA Act, before he began his presidential campaign, I might have voted for some other candidate. But I was ultimately so wrong about the man. Cockburn hits on so many levels at pretensions of the neoliberal (and neoconservative) state, that reading this is a wonder. I used to read his articles in the small newspaper (Anderson Valley Advertiser) he was a feat...more
I read the whole thing. Everything I know about Alexander Cockburn I learned from reading this book. It’s a series of dated entries stretching from 1995 to 2012 (the year Mr. Cockburn died). There’s really nothing that ties the book together; there’s no theme, or pervading tone, or—apparently—purpose to the endeavor. I did come away with an unambiguous sense that Cockburn was deeply impressed by libertarianism; so much so that he felt more affinity (and affection) for Glenn Beck, the Tea Party,...more

Alexander Cockburn, who died of cancer at the age of 71 on July 21, 2012, was a prose powerhouse who left an admirable body of great columns about all manner of matters political and cultural.

Cockburn's last book, the posthumously released A Colossal Wreck (Verso), is a collection of some of his favorite writing from the early 1990s until shortly before his death. Its subtitle, A Road Trip Through Scandal, Political Corruption and American Culture, says i...more
Jane Walker
I confess to never having heard of Cockburn, but I borrowed the book in the hope of finding some interesting writing on American politics and culture. There is some, and that it comes from a Marxist makes it different from the usual run of such books. But it got wearisome before long.
Wonderful. Razor sharp wit on every page. He was a great mind who never sold out even as everyone else did.
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Alexander Claud Cockburn was an American political journalist. Cockburn was brought up in Ireland but has lived and worked in the United States since 1972. Together with Jeffrey St. Clair, he edits the political newsletter CounterPunch. Cockburn also writes the "Beat the Devil" column for The Nation and a weekly syndicated column for the Los Angeles Times as well as for The First Post, which is sy...more
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