For those who prefer a real book rather than reading on a computer screen, a book with 25 of Joe Bageant's best essays is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball: The Best of Joe Bageant will be available for distribution in the USA April 1. This book was first published last November in Australia by Scribe.
Before he died one year ago, Joe and I had talked about such a book, even though he initially had doubts that people would pay for something that's available for free on the web. But, many emails from his readers convinced Joe that enough people wanted the essays in book form to make the project worthwhile. After Joe died, Henry Rosenbloom, Joe's friend and Australian publisher, asked me to select and edit essays for the book.
I've managed Joe's website since its launch nine years ago. Way back then, Joe had started sending his essays to various online opinion sites, such as Counterpunch, SmirkingChimp, AlterNet, and many others. I convinced him that he needed his own website, if nothing else to serve as an archive for his work.
Joe spent the last two years of his life living in a small studio apartment in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico -- just a few blocks from my apartment. While in Ajijic, Joe wrote his second book, Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir, banging away on a god-awful small netbook with his two-finger typing.
I am anticipating questions from readers: "How could you possibly have left out my favorite essay?" Well, I had to cut 50 essays to get under the 80,000 word limit. Two of my favorites by Joe didn't make it. If the book sells well enough, maybe there will be another volume.
Joe's first book was Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War, published by Random House/Crown.
Any proceeds from sales of Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball will go to Joe's favorite charities.
In addition to my introduction and brief biography of Joe, here are the essays included in the book:
Howling in the Belly of the Confederacy
Sleepwalking to Fallujah
The Covert Kingdom
Staring Down the Jackals
Drink, Pray, Fight, Fuck
It Ain't Easy Being White
What the 'Left Behind' Series Really Means
Revenge of the Mutt People
Madmen and Sedatives
Somewhere a Banker Smiles
Escape from America
In the Reign of the One-nutted King
A Feral Dog Howls in Harvard Yard
Lost in the Hologram
Nine Billion Little Feet
The Audacity of Depression
Old Dogs and Hard Time
Meet the Leftnecks
Escape from the Zombie Food Court
A Redneck View of the Obamarama
The Devil and Mr. Obama
Live from Planet Norte
Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball
Algorithms and Red Wine
AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?