Hart, author of two critically acclaimed narrative histories, uses Let the Devil Speak to explain the terrain where history, politics, and culture overlap and ignite.
The book opens with a long essay about Good Old Boys, Randy Newman’s celebrated concept album about racism and the South, but at least three other articles will be of direct interest to Amazing Stories readers.
“May the Fraud Be With You,” an expansion of Hart’s controversial piece for Salon, shows how Star Wars impresario George Lucas built his epic on unacknowledged borrowings from classic science fiction, and how the pretentiousness has only grown worse with news that another round of Star Wars films is on the way.
“The Clockwork Grove” explores the fiftieth anniversary of the novel A Clockwork Orange, dispels some myths generated by author Anthony Burgess, and points to a message much more disturbing than the creator probably intended.
“The Ents From the Orcs” explores the close relationship between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, whose work probably would never have seen the light of day without their friendship, and how Tolkien’s idealistic epic was claimed as support for a sordid and corrupt presidency.
“Steven Hart is an exemplary cultural critic. He’s assiduous in his sleuthing through history, alert in his observations, sharply intelligent in his reach, and clear in his prose. His linking of America’s past and its music — between what went downand what was laid down — is acute, compelling, responsive and fresh.” Michael Gray, author of Hand Me My Travelin’ Shoes – In Search of Blind Willie McTell and Song & Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan.