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The Ego Has Landed,
This review is from: The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel / the Novel as History (Paperback)
Ostensibly this book is about a demonstration in the car park of the Pentagon against the Vietnam war. It includes the usual suspects: hippies, anarchists and what remains of the American Left after ten unbroken years of capitalist-driven wealth and McCarthyism. Who can possibly save America from itself? Why, Norman Mailer of course. The literary super-brat of American letters. He fearlessly confronts the state troopers, gets himself arrested, arraigned, imprisoned and in doing so strikes a blow for freedom across the globe! Mailer really wastes this opportunity; he had a chance to document a key event in American history (though the size of the march was about one-tenth of the London Anti-Iraq protests) but instead of talking to the marchers, the state officials etc. he prefers to self-indulgently document his hangovers, the food in his hotel and the mutual admiration society which exists between the New York literati: trust-fund Leftists and (God help us) poets. I love most of Mailer's writing: this is ego-driven garbage.