See below for further reading and advanced hellraising on the articles in this issue:
Walled Off by Dale Maharidge
Just as Fierce by Katherine Dunn
- Build it, and they will stay away: What are the larger economic consequences of walled-off communities? Economist Robert Reich calls for aunified social strategy in The Work of Nations (New York: Vintage, 1991).
- With current world population topping 5 billion, the future of international migration and the world's economic sustainability are looming concerns. Paul Kennedy looks at the potential impact of the population explosion in Preparing for the Twenty-First Century (New York: Vintage, 1993).
- Essays by Toni Morrison, Peggy Noonan, Richard Rodriguez, and others provide a range of perspectives on immigration from both ends of the political spectrum. Writers in Arguing Immigration: The Debate Over the Changing Face of America (New York: Touchstone Books, 1994) consider everything from ethnic prejudice to the strain on our welfare system--even the proposal for a national ID card.
Virtual Vietnam by Jim Frederick
- Men and women live in "distinct but parallel universes" of aggression, psychologist and criminologist Anne Campbell tells her readers in Men, Women, and Aggression (New York: BasicBooks, 1993). And it's not nature but nurture that put them there, she adds.
- Hans Toch tackles the social forces driving Violent Men (Vermont: Schenkman Books, 1984)--though the fact that this 1969 clinical report bypasses any study of violent women provides a telling contrast to Katherine Dunn's argument.
- Ronald Barri Flowers looks at both sides of the coin in Women and Criminality: The Woman as Victim, Offender, and Practitioner (Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1987). By considering the role of women as both perpetrator and victim, Flowers acknowledges the dichotomy of feminine potential.
- Jay Robert Nash gathered stories of female terrorists, spies, thieves, and prisoners from the Elizabethan era onward for his encyclopedia, Look for the Woman (New York: M. Evans & Co., 1981). It's currently out of print, so check your library.
- Joyce Carol Oates' arguably feminist (and arguably interesting) Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang (New York: Plume, 1994) captures the rage of a group of teen-age girls in upstate New York. There's no biology at work here, just pure revenge.
Legalize It! by Michael Castleman
- Innumerable film interpretations of the Vietnam War are available at your video store. If it's gritty realism you're after, critics recommend John Irvin's Hamburger Hill (1987) and Oliver Stone's Platoon (1986). (For pure entertainment, try John Wayne's bungled 1968 attempt, The Green Berets. It was the only war film actually made during the war--but keep an eye out for the famous sunset over the eastern horizon.)
- Oliver Stone reportedly considered filming Neil Sheehan's A Bright Shining Lie (New York: Vintage, 1988), then rejected it as "too Vietnam." A journalist's narrative of the late soldier John Paul Vann, this historical biography won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction.
- Vietnam Magazine aims to offer a "generally positive" view of the combat, from the perspective of its battle heroes. Veterans and their families comprise the majority of its readership. Not surprisingly, some were disturbed by the publication's recent interview with Oliver Stone. Subscription information: (800) 435-9610.
So, Comeback, Kid by Eric Alterman
- Since the FDA won't let herb companies tell you how nature can cure what ails you, read up on it yourself. Herbs That Heal (California: Quantum Books, 1994), by Michael A. Weiner, Ph.D., and Janet Weiner, is an encyclopedic compendium of medicinal herbs, while naturopathic physician Michael T. Murray suggests replacements for such oft-prescribed pharmaceuticals as Seldane, Tagamet, and Zantac in Natural Alternatives to Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drugs (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1994).
- Astrologer/apothecary Nicholas Culpeper published his original herbal guide in 1649 and included remedies for everything from hysteria to the plague--but, seeing as some things have changed, his findings have been updated in today's Culpeper's Color Herbal (New York: Sterling, 1983).
- Once you know the appropriate alternatives, grow them on your own. For a catalog of medicinal herbs, send an SASE or $1 for postage to: Meadowbrook Herb Garden, 93 Kingstown Road, Wyoming, RI 02898.
- For current information on herbs and your health, call the staff at the Herb Research Foundation at (800) 748-2617. They'll tailor a packet of information according to your needs, at cost.
Comic Threat by Sean Henry
- A classic populist allegory lies behind The Wizard of Oz (below; directed by Victor Fleming, 1939). When humanity joins forces with a benevolent guide, the "great and powerful" go out of business.
- Bob Woodward's latest White House expos, The Agenda (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), provides an insider's look at Clinton's first year. That's assuming Americans trust Woodward's stiff, hokey re-enactments (the most striking of which is the First Couple's pillow talk). The book's lengthy stint as a best seller suggests we do.
- A look at what might have been: Thinkers and activists (including Ralph Nader, Julianne Malveaux, and Barry Commoner) offer analyses and solutions on everything from foreign policy to the environment in State of the Union 1994: The Clinton Administration and the Nation in Profile (Colorado: Westview Press, 1994).
- In Free Speech for Me--But Not For Thee (New York: HarperCollins, 1992), Nat Hentoff reminds us, with breezy wit, what the First Amendment really means. (Hint: It includes the right to read both the Bible at school and Playboy in a diner.)
- The comics industry's definitive source of news and criticism is, by most accounts, The Comics Journal. It's published by Fantagraphics Books, which also distributes Art Spiegelman's "Maus" books. Call (800) 657-1100.
- With a nod to "big and respectable" Mother Jones, Factsheet Five editors Mike Gunderloy and Cari Goldberg Janice have compiled a how-to guide and directory of about 400 'zines (including "Boiled Angel") for The World of Zines: A Guide to the Independent Magazine Revolution (New York: Penguin, 1992).