* The real, ground-breaking journalism (The Boston Globe, April 20, 1966 - April 20, 1973) by the author of the FLETCH novels, Gregory Mcdonald;

* Covering a wide diversity of personalities, (Joan Baez, John Wayne, Jack Kerouac, Andy Warhol, Krishnamurti, Phil Ochs, etc...)

* Published entitled SOUVENIRS OF A BLOWN WORLD by 7 Stories Press, September 1, 2008.

Forty-years out from the cultural watermark that was 1968, and 23-years from its original publication, Gregory Mcdonald’s Souvenirs of a Blown World is being republished by Seven Stories Press and hits store shelves September 1.

Souvenirs of a Blown World is not a book about this transformational time in America, but an actual imprint of the time. The sketches and interviews were conducted during Mr. Mcdonald’s seven years at The Boston Globe where he was a writer for the Sunday magazine, Art & Humanities editor, and a member of the Editorial Board. When he was hired in 1964, editor Thomas Winship gave him simple instructions, "Go have fun and write about it. If you end up cut and bleeding on the sidewalk, call the city desk." And that’s exactly what he did.

The writings (or his education as Mcdonald refers to it) were developed in the middle of riots, while touring the factory with Andy Warhol, bar hopping with Kerouac, and while living through a time of political assassinations, war, and nuclear threat. We join him as he interviews Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin before Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, , and to a Texas barbecue where he talks politics with John Wayne. Mcdonald never lacks for wit or insight while writing during one of the most tumultuous time periods in American history.

Seven Stories Press can be contacted at 1-800-596-7437. Books can also be purchased from Amazon.com, or through a local bookseller.


In your estimation, how goes the world?
G: I share with much of the world sorrow at how the sole remaining superpower, The United States of America, at the beginning of this millennium, has squandered its wealth in human lives and all other resources, including moral influence. For the year running up to the invasion of Iraq I referred to such as historically, militarily, culturally ignorant,
Ed: What would have done after 9/11, had you been President of The United States?
G: This is not hindsight. I would have asked religious and political leaders, all sides of all fences, of the Islamic world, to meet with me. There I would have said, "We have a problem. What are we going to do about it?" Violence is caused by those who are not being heard, either because they cannot or may not articulate their grievances, and wishes. So informed, we might have acted more wisely and in concert with our Islamic brothers, and, to much better affect.
Ed: Many reasons have been offered as to why President George Bush preemptively invaded Iraq: his frustration at the apparent inconclusiveness of the first Gulf War - inconclusive for reasons of geopolitical balance considered good, internationally, at the time - the assassination attempt upon his father, the first President Bush, by Saddam Husein, oil ... In THE BUCK PASSES FLYNN you refer to oil as the new gold standard...
G: In that so much oil is not worth so much per dollar as the dollar is worth so much oil.
Ed: What, to your mind, is the prime reason we invaded Iraq?
G: It has long been a tenet that for a leader to be great he must have, or create, a great enemy. Our 20th Century enemy was Communism, which emnity sustained all politicians, all western governments, had collapsed.
Ed: Early on, President Bush referred to this war as a crusade.
G: And more significantly, never again, after his advisor, Karen Hughes, told him never to do so again: it was too close to the truth, too revealing of what Young George really thought.
Ed: A Christian crusade.
G:Wasn't it a Pope Urban, then the sole superpower of the Western World, who created the First Crusade? He thus deflected the arrows of those princes who might have fought among themselves, and, attack the power of The Holy Roman See.
Ed: The religious aspect of this war is the third rail the current pundits do not dare touch. Even Michael Moore's movie, FAHRENHEIT 911, did not delve into it.
G: Let us, then. There have been hundreds, if not thousands of creation myths, most lost to us. I think of religions as languages. There have always been end-of-the-world myths,too, which seem to comfort people. The reason The Dark Ages were The Dark Ages is because for a thousand years people were expecting the world to end imminently. Only skeptics put themselves forward, established whatever economy there was, made long range plans. "Repent the end is near" is comforting. perhaps, because it relieves us of the responsibility of tending our garden. The most recent such myth was that of the imminent nuclear holocaust. At least for literal Christianity the present stimulus seems to be a series of novels I've heard referred to as "the Rapture" or "The Left Behind" stories. We so want to ignore the earth, exploit the world while being absolved of responsibility for it.
Ed: You've written, "The most evil word in any language is infidel."
G: It is the word, the concept, that allows us to maim, plunder, and slaughter our brothers, in the name of God.
Ed:Are we in a religious war, to your mind?
G: We appear to be at the mercy of the fundamentalists of the three great religions founded in the Middle East, Jews, Christians, Muslims. It seems so. But, as always, in any religious war, the literal believers are the victims of those skeptics who use the particular language, unmercifully, for various forms of power and profit.
Ed: Is George Bush a victim, or a skeptic?
G: I don't know.
Ed: Aren't we, therefore, still talking about oil?
G: Power, profit, land, an elegant lunch, impressing the waitress, while, yes, the dollar shrinks next to a quart of oil.
Ed: What will make the literal believers, the fundamentalists, all sides, understand they are beeing used, are victims?
G: I've studied the prophets not as closely as some, but I don't think any advised us to covet our brother's goods, to kill our brother, etc. Don't damn the infidel; damn the concept. I think those who interpret the sands of the holy texts might come to another conclusion as to the proper use of prosperity, in light of the several natural disasters visited upon us during this same period, the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, earthquake in Kashmir, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, mud slides in the Philippines; Aids, Asian Bird Flu... Young George might be seen as a Daddy so fixated on a plush gambling pit he hasn't the means to provide for his family's and neighbors' needs.
Ed: In practical terms, what do you envision?
G: War is not the means to peace; war is the end to peace.
Ed: Is it possible these are the end of days?
G: No matter how one weishes it, no. And even if that were so, there is never absolution of our responsibilities to this earth, and, to each other. At least, that's my readings of the prophets.

>Ed: G, a few years ago you ran a Day Book on this website that was both interesting and provocative. Why did you stop?
>G: Two reasons. First I intended to make it light and breezy. I slipped back into serious journalism related to what I had practiced seven years writing for The Boston Globe. It became almost a full-time job for which I was not being paid. Second, I discovered it was being influential. That worried me, as I was working without the resources I had at The Boston Globe.
>Ed: Do you and your wife, Chjeryle, still take winter walks across the pastures of Camaldon Farm trailed by an odd assortment of dogs, cats, a rooster, ducks, goat, as earlier described?
>G: More or less. The cast of characters has changed. The rooster got smushed by a little old lady with a heavy right foot. A road runs through the farm. We had to put that wonderfrul collie, Sphyinx, down recently. He was the most wonderful gentleman I'vc ever known on two feet or four - the only pet I've ever had that kept pets of his own. He'd pick up baby rabbits, frogs, even kittens gently with his mouth and hide them from the coyotes under the sun porch. When cattle was acting up, he'd amble in among them. For several minutes one couldn't figure out what he was doing. Then, suddenly, in a flash, the herd would become organized. He would cause them to do exactly right. Brilliant. Whenever I was working in the fields I would forget all about him, look up, and see him sitting in the nearest shade, watching me. I never worried about bulls, snakes.
Ed:You and your wife suffered many deaths this past year.
>G: Deaths and dyings, and worse. Living on a farm helps keep one's balance, though. Everyday it seems something dies, something is born. In the country one is more aware of sunrise, sunset. In cities I think the only people so aware of sunrise, sunset are cops and the homeless.
>Ed:For years now so much space has been taken up on the internet and elsewhere discussing the next FLETCH film...
>G:I understand there was even a public campaign to make new movies based on the FLETCH novels without benefit of a film studio...
>Ed:Much impatience. The difficulties between two studios, Miramax and Disney, definitely was to your detriment...
>G:It's been interesting over the past years watching, hour by hour, Harvey and Bob Weinstein wriggling in the air like a thrown cat, finally landing beautifully on all four feet. Remember that in Dimension-Miramax Bob and Harvey created the only brand-name studio we've had in decades. Before we had any association with the Weinsteins, Cheryle and I at the video store were always sure we would like a movie under the Miramax imprint and we were seldom disappointed. I am certain Harvey and Bob will do even better in creating their new studio, Weinstein & Co.
>Ed: You could have left them and didn't?
>G: Yes.
.Ed: What's happening now?
>G: Harvey has been most gracious to us. I am delighted he has now committed his own creative energy, genius, and savvy to what he calls "The Fletch Project", franchise. Full steam ahead on turning FLETCH WON into cinema. A new screenwriter is working.
> Ed: Who?
>G: Let's give the guy a chance, shall we, before the whole world lands on him?
>Ed: Million dollar question: who is the new Fletch?
.>G: More than a million. Not named, yet. I've always thought it would be fun to have a nationwide audition. No time for that now, I guess.
>Ed: Will we see FLETCH WON in theaters this year?
>G: Harvey assures me we will.
>Ed: Does my playing Editor, Q to your A, make this process easier for you?
>G: I think so. Almost as good as my interviewing myself.
>Ed: I'll get tougher.
>G: I expect so.


Additional Perspectives: THE NEW REALITY SPEECH

     The world has changed, my friends. You know it, and I know it, but the present incumbent in The White doesn't seem to know it. His advisors don't seem to know it...

     It used to be that what happened in New York and Washington was important in Paramaribo, in Durban, in Kampuchea. Nothing was more important. Well, things have changed. Now we know that what happens in Santiago, in Tehran, in Mali is terribly important in New York and Washington. Nothing is more important

     The Third World, as it's called, is no longer something out there - separate from us, inconsequential. Whether we like it or not, the world is becoming covered with a network of fine, sensitive nerves - an electronic nervous system not unlike that which integrates our own bodies. Our finger hurts, our toe hurts and we feel it as much as if our head aches or our heart aches. Instantly now do we feel the pain in Montevideo, in Juddah, in Bandung. And yes, my friends in Winslow, we feel the pain from our own, internal Third World - from Harlem, from Watts, from our reservations of Native Americans...

     There is no First World, Second World, Third World. The world is becoming integrated before our very eyes.

     You and I know there is no theology, no ideology causing this new, sudden, total intregration of the world. Christianity has had two thousand years to tie this world together... and it has not done so. Islam has had six hundred years to tie this world together... and it has not done so. American democracy has had two hundred years to tie this world together... and it has not done so. Communism had nearly one hundred years to tie this world together ... and it did not do so.

     You and I know what is tying this world together, better than any band of missionaries, however large, ever have or could; better than any marching armies ever have or could.

     Today, satellites permit us to see every stalk of wheat as it grows in Russia, every grain of rice as it grows in China.We can see every soldier as he is trained in Lesotho or Karachi. We can fly to Riyadh or Luzon between one meal and another. Every economic fact regarding Algeria can be assimilated and interpreted within hours. It is possible to poll the entire nation of India regarding their deepest political and other convictions within seconds.

     You and I, my friends, know that technology is tying this world together, is integrating this world in a way no theology, no ideology ever could. Technology is forming a nervous system beanth the skin of Mother Earth. And you and I know that to avoid the pain, the body politic had better start responding to this nervous system immediately! If we ignore that which hurts in any part of body earth, we shall suffer years more, generations more of the pain and misery of spreading disease. If we knowingly allow wounds to fester in any particular place, the strength, the energies of the whole world will be sapped!

     American politics must grow up to the new realities of life on this planet! Technology brings us closer than any Biblical brothers! Technology makes us more interdependent than any scheme of capital and labor! Technology is integrating the people of this earth where love and force have failed! This is the new reality! We must seize this understanding! Seize it for peace! For the health of planet earth! My friends, for the very continuation of life on earth!

- from Gregory Mcdonald's FLETCH AND THE MAN WHO, 1983

(Additional perspectives will be forthcoming...)



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