I. a cover promising lurid tales of sex,

I. Introduction and Overview There is something very interesting about a book with a cover promising lurid tales of sex, drugs, and cheap labor. The persona of Eric Schlosser's subject and the effective marketing behind it are very verbose in nature. Here in this book, Eric Schlosser is keeping with the long tradition of the so called, “yellow” journalism,in wresting the black market, from the back alleys of public consciousness and putting it on display in the storefront of the eye of everyone. In the painfully, yet enjoyable essays, Eric Schlosser takes us on many numerous excursions through the war on marijuana, the lives of immigrant farm workers, and the very dirty sex industry in the United States. He paints a very graphic image of hypocrisy in the policies of the U.S.

government by examining the power of the economy of the underground and the misuse of government resources in legislating morality to its public.. II. Major IssuesIn each of the authors essays in this book, is the truth of the smut and other things of the American ideal. You could say it is a liitle bit Weber's Protestant Ethic meets Larry Flynt.

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In each scenario, whether through agricultural facility and personal liberties, in the case of marijuana criminalization; immigrants in search of a better life, in the case of stigmatized farm workers; or punishing a successful businessman because of his lack of morals, Eric Schlosser returns to the unpleasant image of America as a bundle of hypocrisies. On one level, each scenario is of an American archetype of success. For a country that prides itself on its immigrant history, hard-work ethic, and financial success stories, it seems strange to make these folks look like the villains. This is what Eric Schlosser is getting at: that these people would be heroes if the American ideal were anything more than a myth. Forgotten in that ideal, rationalized somehow, is the fact that our national heritage also includes a strong grounding in Puritanical morality somewhat. This is perhaps one of the most dissatisfying aspects of Schlosser's book, that the exploration of our moral grounding is never explored all that deeply, even though it is criticized. However, it is indisputable that the author, Schlosser,feels that the American ideal has a dangerous and powerful hold on the public consciousness, which he demonstrates repeatedly and faithfully in the book.

In his criticism of the perversion that morality can play in public judgment, Schlosser uses an interesting crusader from 19th-century New England as an example to illustrate the degree to which Puritanism has swayed the reaction to social vices here in the United States.Anthony Comstock was a grocery clerk from New York who mobilized groups such as the YMCA in the 1870s to suppress obscene materials. To Comstock's favor, the United States Congress in 1873 passed the "Comstock Law," which prohibited the transmittal of "obscene, lewd, or lascivious" items through the Postal Service. Crusading through the postal service lines for the next several decades, Comstock harshly enforced these laws with the full support of the federal government behind him. Comstock's motivation came largely from an incident as a young boy in which he was shown pornography by farm workers, obviously causing him to be disturbed by this for the rest of his life. Clearly, Schlosser presents Comstock as a caricature of intolerance that many would disregard as an episode from our past. However, Schlosser's intent is not merely to mock a man who many of us would regard as extremely prim. Comstock is but one example in American history of those who have imposed a personal and moralistic agenda on the nation.

American history is laced with such individuals, and further, the public shows a large degree of acceptance for such policies. III. Conclusion Criticism of the book is tangled with the very reasons that makes it an enjoyable read. Critics on the political right would accuse him of being a left-winger with a clear agenda, like myself, in a brightly packaged book. An honest liberal would have little with which to disagree.

But, Schlosser is not artfully interweaving his opinions into the body of these essays. He reserves opinion for the end of each essay, where he clearly states his beliefs under no terms, and what he regards as a sensible plan of action. If authors such as.

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