Top Ten!

We may begin a regular feature here at PapoWorld, consisting of TopTen (or more) Lists to be shared and commented on (linked from the very cool site listverse.com)

Top Ten Books that Changed America

I don’t know about this list….I mean, I don’t really like the choices but I also don’t feel like I know enough to say otherwise.  I haven’t even read some of these.  That said,  my first thought is about an iconic and important author that is very dear to me, Tom Wolfe.  I also think Hunter S. Thompson is incredibly iconic both as an American patriot and/or American symbol of excess and…as an innovator of style and form in journalism (Thompson’s Gonzo Journalism was part of–and in a way, a subsection or example of–Tom Wolfe’s “New Journalism“).  I feel like they and some unnamed others may be missing from the list.

now I don’t mean to be like, insensitive or whatever, but… I can’t help but appreciate that this lady looks like she can BOOGIE…     uww-HUH

(#2 of 10, written in 1852)

UPDATE Ed: I am trying to reach an agreement with Listverse where they feel comfortable with my usage of their content and where I can still make it available to Citizens of PapoWorld.  Stay Tuned.

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5 Responses to “Top Ten!”

  1. Brouss Says:

    First of all, good post, Papo. Glad to have the exposure to these books, most of which, i haven’t read either. I’d certainly agree that Tom Wolfe and Hunter are both amazing authors, Wolfe, at the top of my own list. Thing is, I feel like both of those authors could be included in a list titled, “Top Ten Books that Changed American -Literature-”, cuz that, they certainly did. I may be similar to you in my lack of exposure to pre-twentieth century literature, but the ten picks I see here seem pretty well validated as books that actually -Changed America-, especially in the political arena. I will give you a nod in that there does seem to be a bit of a hole where more of 1960′s culture, beyond the beatniks, could be recognized. Kesey, maybe? Perhaps, but not widely read enough, I think.

  2. Jebediah Says:

    Paps: American Democracy is 1/3 Thomas Paine…
    Brouss: I am convinced that Sometimes a Great Notion is THE Great American Novel. Correct in that Kesey’s not widely read enough, and ultimately his actions more so than his writings had a larger impact on American counterculture. I mean, no Kesey/Cassady = no Thompson/Wolfe. Anyhoo, Kesey (regardless that he was not as prolific as other American greats) doesn’t get the credit he deserves for sparking a movement that had lasting social impact in this country. But yes, good assessment…that list definitely has an eye to politics/race relations.

    PS: Paps, do you work? Maybe 2-3 solid hours of actual work each day?

  3. papoworld Says:

    Great comments, guys. I agree that my scope was probably better suited for a “changed American literature list”, Brouss. And Jebediah, I am particularly glad you brought some perspective, as an avid history buff and Professional Filler of Minds. I had certainly heard of Paine, but I confess I haven’t read any.
    Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was the first novel I read voluntarily after high school and was very glad I did. I often feel like McMurphy’s role in the hospital of that book is quite the parallel to Kesey’s role among our larger society, with Nurse Ratched serving as the force toward conformity, normalization. It appeared that whatever community Kesey entered into was pulled into his personal battle to free oneself from conformity, free oneself generally. (i.e. other patients akin to Merry Pranksters)

    I’ve always wanted to read Sometimes a Great Notion. I heard Wolfe discuss Electric Kool-Aid recently up here in NYC and he spoke well of ‘Notion’.

  4. papoworld Says:

    Work is in the eye of the beholder.
    ;)

  5. Jebediah Says:

    Stop typing, go to the bookstore, and purchase Notion. Johnny Grizzles turned me on to it in ’02 or so. I’ve read it twice a year since. I think it is miles beyond Cuckoo’s Nest. Brilliant…totally whacked out, but brilliant. It’s very slow to develop–persevere.

    Yeah, I meant “how often do you work for the man?” Did you ever take that job that B.I.G. would have been pissed about? As far as I’m concerned, you should try to turn Papo’s World into something that you can do for a living.

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