BOOK EXCERPTS: Chapters From Trumplandia: Unmasking Post-Truth America and List of Essential Reading by P.L. Thomas

Author: P.L. Thomas
Book: Trumplandia: Unmasking Post-Truth America
Garn Press (192 pp.)
ISBN: 9781942146551
Paperback $14.95 | Ebook $9.99 and $2.99 through Amazon’s Matchbook Program
Paperback: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Waterstones (UK/Europe) | BAM! | Indigo Books
Ebook: Amazon

In unprecedented times when American values are at stake P.L. Thomas provides a moral compass for so many people who expected the first woman to become President of the United States. Thomas argues that this assumption grossly underestimated the rise of Donald Trump, which was an inevitable culmination of who the U.S. truly is as a people. In a series of brilliantly written essays Trumplandia: Unmasking Post-Truth America examines how a reality TV star as president represents post-truth America as a failed democracy and as a country still deeply poisoned by racism, classism, sexism, and xenophobia. Running throughout as well is an implicit question: How can we resist Trumplandia and truly become a ​democracy?


“A Reader for Trumplandia” by P.L. Thomas

Published on Radical Eyes for Equity by P.L. Thomas | Author of Beware The Roadbuilders: Literature As Resistance and Trumplandia: Unmasking Post-Truth America 

  1. My dad predicted Trump in 1985 – it’s not Orwell, he warned, it’s Brave New World, Andrew Postman (The Guardian)
  2. ‘It will be called Americanism’: the US writers who imagined a fascist future, Sarah Churchwell (The Guardian)
  3. George Orwell’s ‘1984’ Is Suddenly a Best-Seller, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura (The New York Times)
  4. Orwell’s “1984” and Trump’s America, Adam Gopnik (The New Yorker)
  5. 1984, George Orwell
  6. The Orwell essay that’s even more pertinent than “1984” right now, Maxwell Strachan (The Huffington Post)
  7. Politics and the English Language, George Orwell
  8. Uneasy About the Future, Readers Turn to Dystopian Classics, Alexandra Alter (The New York Times)
  9. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
  10. It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis
  11. Newt Gingrich: Margaret Thatcher is the real model for the Trump presidency (The Washington Post)
  12. V for VendettaAlan Moore and David Lloyd
  13. 1987’s “Document” feels especially applicable to America in 2017, Annie Zaleski (Salon)
  14. Animal Farm, George Orwell

R.E.M. – Disturbance At The Heron House (see also here)

On Jan. 20, Paste ran a clever article titled “An Inaugural Day Message via the Words of R.E.M.” The piece creates a narrative about politics and life by jumbling together and rearranging phrases culled from the Athens, Georgia, band’s song lyrics. Workload-wise, the 2400-word piece is impressive; mixing and matching sentiments from a 30-plus-year career certainly isn’t easy …

The last record R.E.M. released via I.R.S. Records — and the first LP the band recorded with producer Scott Litt — “Document” addresses the corrupting nature of money; political witch hunts concerning free speech; circumstances that are both bewildering and unprecedented; and economic and employment oppression. Appropriately, the record’s music is glinting and electrified, and nods to post-punk, folk, funk and fiery rock ‘n’ roll …

In 2003, Stipe admitted that “Disturbance at the Heron House” is his “take” on George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” …

“That song is so fucking political, and it’s so appropriate to what’s going on right now,” he told Filter. “Like, the kind of arrogance that some of the policy makers and world leaders are carrying with them right now is, I think, reflective of the very worst of the United States. It’s that teenage arrogance, as a young country, the know-it-all-kind of thing. That makes me crazy.”

Additional Recommended Texts

About Paul Thomas

Paul Thomas, a recipient of the NCTE’s George Orwell Award, engages the public in the most profound and controversial topics of our day, exposing the terrifying truths of the times in which we live. His commentaries have been published in AlterNet, The Conversation UK/US, Room for Debate (The New York Times), The Answer Sheet (The Washington Post), The Guardian (UK), Truthout, Education Week, The Daily Censored, OpEdNews, The State (Columbia, SC), The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC) and The Greenville News (Greenville, SC).

His scholarly work has been published in major journals—English Journal, English Education, Souls, Notes on American Literature, Journal of Educational Controversy, Journal of Teaching Writing, and others. He has published books on Barbara Kingsolver, Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, Ralph Ellison, and James Baldwin; and his recent books include Ignoring Poverty in the U.S. (Information Age Publishing, 2012), Parental Choice? (Information Age Publishing, 2010), Becoming and Being a Teacher (Peter Lang USA, 2013), De-Testing and De-Grading Schools (Peter Lang USA, 2013) and Social Context Reform (Routledge, 2014) and Beware The Roadbuilders: Literature As Resistance.

He taught high school English in rural South Carolina before moving to teacher education. He has worked on major commit­tees with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), is a column editor for English Journal published by NCTE, and cur­rently serves as NCTE Council Historian (2013-2015). He is the series editor for the Critical Literacy Teaching Series: Challenging Authors and Genres (Sense Publishers), in which he authored the first volume—Challenging Genres: Comics and Graphic Novels (2010)—and co-edited a volume on James Bald­win (2014). His work can be followed at Radical Eyes for Equity (blog) and @plthomasEdD on twitter.

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