Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent

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9781935462910: Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent

A story about growth, failure, and redemption, Ghosts of Tom Joad traces the rise of the working poor and the don’t-have-to-work-rich as it follows the fortunes of the protagonist Earl. A product of the post–Korean War era, Earl witnesses his parents’ kitchen table arguments over money—echoed in thousands of other Rust Belt towns—experiences bullying, relishes first kisses, and comes of age and matures as a man before the economic hardships of the 1980s and 1990s wear on his spirit. Earl takes his turn at a variety of low-paying retail jobs in the new economy before becoming mired in homelessness and succumbing to meth, alcohol, and destitution. As he takes a final, metaphorical bus ride, Earl reflects on his past, considering the impact of the war on his father—and, subsequently, on himself—his own demise, and the romance between himself and Angel, which ultimately redeems him. This is a tale about the death of manufacturing, the deindustrialization of America, and a way of life that has been irrevocably lost. Anyone interested in the impact of political and business policy on the American Dream will be drawn to this profound, humorous, and moving novel.

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About the Author:

Peter Van Buren is a former Foreign Service officer at the Department of State. He is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. His commentary has been featured in the Guardian, HuffingtonPost.com, Mother Jones, the New York Times, and Salon.com, among other publications. He is currently collaborating with Academy Award–nominated documentary filmmaker James Spione on a film about federal whistleblowers. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia.

Review:

"This book is very well done on so many levels. The story and the message are both appropriate and accurate in America’s former industrial centers. Even though I left long ago, it is not something I, or anyone else, can run from forever." —Joseph Spuckler, evilcyclist.wordpress.com

"Van Buren’s prose is accessible, colloquial, somewhat macho, with sustained skepticism and moments of humor."  —Washington Post

"A seasoned State Department diplomat, stalwart Iraq War whistle-blower, and author of We Meant Well, Van Buren turns his keen eye to the shameful treatment of the nation’s unemployed and homeless." —Carol Haggas, Booklist

"Having personally experienced both sides of the proverbial fence, I can testify to the trueness of Van Buren’s writing. These lives, though fiction, are real and living among us. These 'ghosts' are our neighbors in need of salvation. And for that attention, Van Buren has accomplished much." —The Avid Reader, ryandejonghe.wordpress.com

"Van Buren takes an interesting approach, making the whole story a series of flashbacks while Earl is riding on the city bus, which is sometimes real and sometimes metaphysical, or at least metaphorical." —Ohio Barbarian, my.firedoglake.com

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Book Description Luminis Books, Incorporated, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A story about growth, failure, and redemption, Ghosts of Tom Joad traces the rise of the working poor and the don t-have-to-work-rich as it follows the fortunes of the protagonist Earl. A product of the post Korean War era, Earl witnesses his parents kitchen table arguments over money echoed in thousands of other Rust Belt towns experiences bullying, relishes first kisses, and comes of age and matures as a man before the economic hardships of the 1980s and 1990s wear on his spirit. Earl takes his turn at a variety of low-paying retail jobs in the new economy before becoming mired in homelessness and succumbing to meth, alcohol, and destitution. As he takes a final, metaphorical bus ride, Earl reflects on his past, considering the impact of the war on his father and, subsequently, on himself his own demise, and the romance between himself and Angel, which ultimately redeems him. This is a tale about the death of manufacturing, the deindustrialization of America, and a way of life that has been irrevocably lost. Anyone interested in the impact of political and business policy on the American Dream will be drawn to this profound, humorous, and moving novel. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781935462910

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Book Description Luminis Books, Incorporated, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A story about growth, failure, and redemption, Ghosts of Tom Joad traces the rise of the working poor and the don t-have-to-work-rich as it follows the fortunes of the protagonist Earl. A product of the post Korean War era, Earl witnesses his parents kitchen table arguments over money echoed in thousands of other Rust Belt towns experiences bullying, relishes first kisses, and comes of age and matures as a man before the economic hardships of the 1980s and 1990s wear on his spirit. Earl takes his turn at a variety of low-paying retail jobs in the new economy before becoming mired in homelessness and succumbing to meth, alcohol, and destitution. As he takes a final, metaphorical bus ride, Earl reflects on his past, considering the impact of the war on his father and, subsequently, on himself his own demise, and the romance between himself and Angel, which ultimately redeems him. This is a tale about the death of manufacturing, the deindustrialization of America, and a way of life that has been irrevocably lost. Anyone interested in the impact of political and business policy on the American Dream will be drawn to this profound, humorous, and moving novel. Bookseller Inventory # UGH9781935462910

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Book Description Luminis Books, Incorporated, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A story about growth, failure, and redemption, Ghosts of Tom Joad traces the rise of the working poor and the don t-have-to-work-rich as it follows the fortunes of the protagonist Earl. A product of the post Korean War era, Earl witnesses his parents kitchen table arguments over money echoed in thousands of other Rust Belt towns experiences bullying, relishes first kisses, and comes of age and matures as a man before the economic hardships of the 1980s and 1990s wear on his spirit. Earl takes his turn at a variety of low-paying retail jobs in the new economy before becoming mired in homelessness and succumbing to meth, alcohol, and destitution. As he takes a final, metaphorical bus ride, Earl reflects on his past, considering the impact of the war on his father and, subsequently, on himself his own demise, and the romance between himself and Angel, which ultimately redeems him. This is a tale about the death of manufacturing, the deindustrialization of America, and a way of life that has been irrevocably lost. Anyone interested in the impact of political and business policy on the American Dream will be drawn to this profound, humorous, and moving novel. Bookseller Inventory # UGH9781935462910

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