Moving a family from one hemisphere to another is a time-consuming exercise.
But that’s a poor excuse for the long hiatus in updates to the blog. I think it’s best that I publicly acknowledge the influence of one of my favorite Aussie bumper stickers. In bold, colorful, all-caps, it read “PROCRASTINATE NOW!”
So, without further ado…Live from New York, it’s … The Image Mirror?
It’s funny how the world continued to go on without me or my blog during these past two months - including, it seems, book reviews. Some of the more notable ones to weigh in on Che were The Nation, The L.A. Times, Curled Up With a Good Book, The Learned Fan Girl. Mostly good, I’m very happy to say.
One review, however, begs comment. But before I do, a warning: Writers who tell you they are happy to read criticism of their work are lying.
Anyway, I was oddly satisfied to find Maurice Isserman’s review at The Nation segue from a mostly very positive analysis into a critique of my dehistoricizing of Che. Besides the fact that he misses the whole point of the book – i.e. the central premise that it’s possible to view Che not as a historical figure but as a socially-constructed icon – I can at least now feel confident that I’ve been hit from both the right and the left. I was worried there for a while. All I had was Roger Noriega and the loonies in Miami to go on. Would I forever be labeled as a commie Che lover? Now at least I’m also a guy who – unavoidably, apparently, due to his business journalism background – is “overly enamored with the language of advertising and consumption.” As proof of how I’ve purged the distorted image presented by Noriega et al, I can now happily report that one poor, misguided conservative has defended me against Isserman by – wrongly, of course – describing my work as an “anti-Che book.” A golden rule of journalism holds that if you’ve pissed off both sides you’ve done your job. I hope that means I can rest easy.