What's wrong with the contemporary American medical system? What does it mean when a state's democratic presidential primary casts 40% of its votes for a felon incarcerated in ather state? What's so bad about teaching by PowerPoint? What is truly the dirtiest word in America?These are just a few of the engaging and controversial issues that Michael Blumenthal, poet, velist, essayist, and law professor, tackles in this collection of poignant essays commissioned by West Virginia Public Radio. In these brief essays, Blumenthal provides unconventional insights into our contemporary political, educational, and social systems, challenging us to look beyond the headlines to the psychological and sociological realities that underlie our conventional thinking. As a widely published poet and velist, Blumenthal brings along a lawyer's analytical ability with his literary sensibility, effortlessly facilitating a distinction between the cliches of today's pallid political discourse and the deeper realities that lie beneath. This collection will captivate and provoke those with an interest in literature, politics, law, and the unwritten rules of our social and political engagements.
Michael Blumenthal is a Visiting Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Immigration Clinic at West Virginia University College of Law. A former Director of Creative Writing at Harvard University, he is the author of eight books of poetry, as well as All My Mothers and Fathers, a memoir; Weinstock Among The Dying, a novel; When History Enters the House, a collection of essays; and Because They Needed Me : The Incredible Struggle of Rita Miljo To Save The Baboons of South Africa, a book-length account of his work with orphaned infant chacma baboons in South Africa. His first collection of short stories, The Greatest Jewish-American Lover in Hungarian History, is forthcoming.