The history of the future : American essays / Edward McPherson.

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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "In The History of the Future, McPherson explores America in all its beauty and strangeness. He is funny and searching-a joy to read."--Elizabeth Kolbert Praise for Edward McPherson: "Mr. McPherson is an intrepid traveler. a charming and literate companion, and he approaches his task with becoming modesty."-The Wall Street Journal What does it mean to think about Dallas in relationship to Dallas? In The History of the Future, McPherson reexamines American places and the space between history, experience, and myth. Private streets, racism, and the St. Louis World's Fair; fracking for oil and digging for dinosaurs in North Dakota boomtowns-Americana slides into apocalypse in these essays, revealing us to ourselves. Edward McPherson is the author of two previous books: Buster Keaton: Tempest in a Flat Hat (Faber & Faber) and The Backwash Squeeze and Other Improbable Feats (HarperCollins). He has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Paris Review, Tin House, and the American Scholar, among others. He teaches creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis"-- Provided by publisher.
    • Content Notes:
      Echo patterns -- Lost and found -- Open ye gates! Swing wide ye portals! -- End of the line -- How to survive an atomic bomb -- Chasing the boundary: boom and bust on the high prairie -- Three minutes to midnight.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references (pages 263-265).
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
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  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      MCPHERSON, E. The history of the future : American essays. [s. l.]: Coffee House Press, 2017. ISBN 9781566894678. Disponível em: Acesso em: 29 out. 2020.
    • AMA:
      McPherson E. The History of the Future : American Essays. Coffee House Press; 2017. Accessed October 29, 2020.
    • APA:
      McPherson, E. (2017). The history of the future : American essays. Coffee House Press.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      McPherson, Edward. 2017. The History of the Future : American Essays. Coffee House Press.
    • Harvard:
      McPherson, E. (2017) The history of the future : American essays. Coffee House Press. Available at: (Accessed: 29 October 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      McPherson, E 2017, The history of the future : American essays, Coffee House Press, viewed 29 October 2020, .
    • MLA:
      McPherson, Edward. The History of the Future : American Essays. Coffee House Press, 2017. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      McPherson, Edward. The History of the Future : American Essays. Coffee House Press, 2017.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      McPherson E. The history of the future : American essays [Internet]. Coffee House Press; 2017 [cited 2020 Oct 29]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2017 June #1

Is a city defined by its major historical moments, or by its pop-culture references; or is it about our own personal experiences of a place? Armed with these ponderings and an American wanderlust, McPherson serves up a collection of seven thoughtful essays, each an exploration of how we understand some of America's best-known cities. With the author as tour guide, this book includes stops in Brooklyn, Gettysburg, and St. Louis, among others. The first stop is Dallas. Is it the city founded in 1841 by a drunk who shot a man for insulting his wife, or the city where Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, or the city where J. R. Ewing was shot in 1980? That may be up to you. Taking on our relationships with the places we've called home, our myths, our social biases, and our ecological concerns for the future, McPherson offers a soul-searching, though not bleak series of think pieces designed to get us all asking more questions. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2017 February #3

This collection of seven geography-themed essays from McPherson (The Backwash Squeeze and Other Improbable Facts) is both an entertaining exploration of Americana and a critical look at how people form memories. His knowledge of esoteric and diverse topics, such as the intricate science behind the atom bomb and the pop culture phenomenon of the soap opera Dallas, is on display in each spiraling essay. The collection begins in Dallas, discussing how the assassination of J.F.K. looms over both the city and its eponymous TV show. In an essay on St. Louis, after a detailed description of the architecture behind the Gateway Arch monument, McPherson declares the "balance an illusion," nodding to his theme of the illusory border separating past from present and history from future. The most searing and poignant essay of the collection is "Chasing the Boundary: Boom and Bust on the High Prairie," which explores how North Dakota's recent oil boom brought thousands of itinerant workers to an otherwise stark landscape. McPherson goes deep into his subject matter as well as into the land. He descends through a Brooklyn manhole into what is considered the world's first subway, and into a contemporary bomb shelter in L.A. This collection brims with subdued, self-aware brilliance. Agent: Emma Parry, Janklow & Nesbit. (May)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.