Reviews and Criticism

Texas Blood

“Heartbreaking and mesmerizing… Hodge combines a journalist’s eye with a native son’s love to give readers clear insight into southwestern Texas’s past, present, and future.”  Publishers Weekly

“In Texas Blood, Roger Hodge takes the reader on journeys through intricate maps of the past and present, through politics and luck and greed and death, but always returning to the beautiful, unforgiving land of his heritage.” —Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon

“Imagine finding out that the land where Cormac McCarthy set one of his most brutal novels was your family’s ranch . . . I’ve read loads of books about Texas but rarely encountered one so deeply of it, so deep the story escapes and becomes a treatise on the twisted American past, and the force exerted by that on our complex present.” —John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead

“A fusion of historical narrative, memoir, exposé, and lament, Texas Blood is a rigorously-researched, compassionate examination of one of our country’s most polarizing states. Hodge casts an unflinching eye on the violence of the borderlands, yet does so with the tender lyricism and spiritual acumen of the best Cormac McCarthy. He deftly traverses the panoply of his home state’s shifting histories and landscapes while never losing sight of the individual: a suppliant walking barefoot, a child’s forgotten grave, the murdered body of a family friend. Texas Blood is a timely, important work: in grappling with Texas, Roger Hodge is holding America’s own deeply-troubled feet to the fire.” —Jamie Quatro, author of I Want to Show You More

“Hypnotically written, deeply researched, profoundly elegiac—the adverbs pile up, and with good reason. Roger D. Hodge has written a wonderful book about our most vexed and peculiarly American state, with an eye for detail and anecdote that’s as loving as it is merciless.” —Tom Bissell, author of Apostle

“A thoughtful portrait of a hard and beautiful place: part ethnography, part literary criticism, part family and regional history, always personal… Sincere, accurate, and open-minded, sometimes intimate, this book qualifies as a true primary source. After the present of Texas Blood has become past, Hodge’s observations and summations will still be well worth reading.” –William T. Vollmann, author of The Dying Grass

Texas Blood blends the personal and the historical to create a vivid portrait of a place unable to transcend its violent past. Roger D. Hodge is a very gifted writer, and he tells his story with the energy of a perfectly paced novel.” —Ron Rash, author of Serena

“Roger Hodge has crafted a masterful alloy of memoir and reportage, of social criticism and regional history. Texas Blood is an unforgettable foray into our most mysterious, violent, myth-soaked state, a portrait of enormous talent and skill that reveals precisely what America is.” —William Giraldi, author of Hold the Dark

The Mendacity of Hope

“This is what I’ve been waiting for—a profound and hard-hitting critique of the Obama administration from the leftThe Mendacity of Hope should help wake up all those Obama voters who’ve been napping while the wars escalate, the recession deepens, and the environment goes straight to hell.” —Barbara Ehrenreich

“Ready to wake up from the Obama dream yet? If so, this thrillingly scathing and relentlessly truthful cri de coeur is your strong cup of coffee. Hodge skewers the sloppy intellectual culture that willed this political chimera into being, while expertly unmasking the corporate machine that is the real Brand Obama. Drink up.” —Naomi Klein

“An eloquently sober indictment of the corruption which impels the self aggrandizement of our executive branch, much to the bane of our Constitution. A frightening book whose conclusions ought to haunt every American.” —William T. Vollmann

“Roger Hodge has written a desperately needed exposé of how Barack Obama is not the messiah of liberalism but its designated gravedigger—he is one of the all too few voices on the progressive side who dares to tell the truth about the corporate masters this administration actually serves, and the dire effect of that allegiance upon what is left of our Republic. This is a blazing indictment of corporate collusion and a bracing injection of hard truths.” —Naomi Wolf

“Hodge skillfully draws the veil from Obama’s allegedly ‘reformist agenda’ to expose the reality of the programs ‘to ensure that no major stakeholder in his coalition of corporate backers will suffer significant losses,’ and will even enjoy spectacular gains—the ‘perfection of the long right turn’ of the Democratic Party since the 1970s, as financialization of the economy led to shedding New Deal commitments so as ‘to compete with the Republicans for corporate patronage.’ He calls for a revitalization of the founding tradition of civil virtue and republican values of liberty, a message that should be taken to heart if we are to reverse the drift toward an ugly future.” —Noam Chomsky

Despite its acerbic title, The Mendacity of Hope isn’t so much an attack on the man: Hodge grants that Obama is “significantly more intellectual than the politicians we have grown accustomed to in recent years,” “well-spoken, brilliant and beautiful,” with a “great persuasive gift,” and he doesn’t deign to speculate on his internal motivations. His point is that any honest look at Obama’s actions in office shows that, rather than practicing a “different kind of politics,” he’s beholden to the same powerful interests that circumscribe the actions of every other politician, no matter how fervently his supporters might have hoped for a change. —Marc Maximov, The Independent Weekly

The Mendacity of Hope is a sloppily organized, badly argued and deeply reactionary book unlikely to have any influence at all on the way Americans think about their president. —Alan Wolfe, The Washington Post

Roger D. Hodge’s book is called THE MENDACITY OF HOPE: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism (Harper/HarperCollins, $25.99), as if Obama’s corporate fund-raising and failure to live up to the unrealistic expectations of purist liberals made him and his team puppets and liars. Hodge says the fact that Obama is “in most respects better” than George W. Bush or Sarah Palin is “completely beside the point.” Really? Since when did the tenets of liberalism demand that politics no longer be viewed as the art of the possible? —Jonathan Alter, The New York Times Book Review

6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] More praise for The Mendacity of Hope … […]

  2. Andres Kievsky said, on December 8, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Very interesting book. Waiting for my copy on the mail. Thanks for writing it!

  3. Mister Black said, on January 10, 2011 at 5:32 am

    This writer is just another child of privilege, riding off the back of a black man with
    his opinions.
    This writer, if he dares to look, is just an effete snob, that is acting like he knows
    it all. How dare he, as an heir of the exploiter, criticize our President? He knows nothing about anything of suffering or what our President is faced with. In other words, Obama is left to clean up the white man’s shit-shit that his family and their ilk has left behind. The writer hasn’t missed any meals or had his Life threatened. He is just like the devil exploiter from which he sprang.
    He is an exploiter. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

  4. Mister Black said, on January 10, 2011 at 5:47 am

    I’m going to make it simple-
    hodge is just another whitey, making money off of a black man.
    Run the nigga` down and you’ll always make money and get ahead…

  5. Mister Black said, on January 10, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Pencil neck geek asshole makin’ money.
    hodge is podge-in other words, another whitey
    runnin’ down the nigga to make money…

  6. Mister Black said, on January 10, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Hodge is an undercover klansman…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: