Liberal bunch of essaysThere really are no rules for “The Best American Essays” 2007.
Read the book front to back or back to front or any order in between. In fact, even the “essays” aren’t really essays, at least in the traditional “What I did Last Summer” type.
Some of them are nonfiction stories, including a fun piece by Malcolm Gladwell that ran in the New Yorker about the so-called “dog whisperer,” Cesar Millan, the legendary dog trainer.
Other stories are memoirs, like the gripping account of how a bomb attack on Hamburg, Germany in 1943 saved the author, Marione Ingram in “Operation Gomorrah,” from a concentration camp. She and her family were among the handful of Jews who survived the Holocaust while living in Germany.
Then there are the more typical essays, such as the anti-Iraq war treatises. That also includes the favorite piece of this year’s editor, David Foster Wallace, which is called “Apocalypse Now” by Edward O. Wilson.
In it, Wilson pens a compelling argument that evangelical Christians and the scientific community should unite on saving the environment. The problem is Wilson aligns himself with the scientists and takes a condescending approach toward Christians. Those of us who are knowledgeable and educated realize the environment needs to be saved, he seems to be saying.
The Best American Essays this year has a strong liberal bias. While I share most of Wallace’s political leanings, I would rather read essays that are simply brilliantly written or break new ground. Instead, we are limited to Wallace’s ideological periscopic view. By Brian Breuhaus