Paper Trail: Common Sense in Uncommon Times

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Simon and Schuster, May 11, 2010 - Business & Economics - 384 pages
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In this rich and savvy collection of commentaries on the events, people and issues that shape and define our world, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and New York Times bestselling author Ellen Goodman cuts to the heart of the stories and controversies that helped to define our times.

For over twenty-five years, nationally syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman has been training her lens on contemporary American life. A marvelously direct writer with keen insight into what makes the average American tick, laugh and occasionally boil with rage, Goodman takes her measure of the national psyche in a voice that is at once perceptive, witty and deeply humane.

Paper Trail, her first collection in more than ten years, journeys through an era that has been golden in its advances and bleak in its disappointments. In a voice both reasoned and impassioned, she makes sense of the cultural debates that have captured our attention and sometimes become national obsessions. She wrestles with the close-to-the-bone issues of abortion, working mothers and gay marriage, the struggles for civil liberties and equal rights, and the moral complexity of assisted suicide and biotech babies. As she wends through the era of the Clinton scandals and the "amBushing" of America, the dot-com boom and bust, the horrors of September 11 and the War on Terrorism, Goodman pauses to celebrate some of our lost icons, including Jackie Onassis, Princess Diana and Doctor Spock. She reminds us as well of the fleeting fame of such instant celebrities as Elian Gonzalez and Lorena Bobbitt.

The lines that separate public and private life dissolve under Goodman's scrutiny as she shows us how Washington politics, Silicon Valley technology and the national media culture infiltrate our jobs, relationships and minds. With the trademark clarity that readers count on, she walks us through the dilemmas posed by new technologies that range from cloning to cell phones and makes us laugh at the vagaries of Viagra and Botox and unreality TV. And in a world that sometimes seems to be stuck on fast forward, she holds on to values as timeless as a family Thanksgiving and a summer porch in Maine.

Including more than 160 of Ellen Goodman's lively and stylish columns, this timely collection walks us along the paper trail in a voice that is both crystal clear and original.
 

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Paper trail: common sense in uncommon times

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For over 25 years, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Goodman's thought-provoking columns have appeared in more than 400 newspapers. Now, many of these essays can be reread by her longtime fans or read ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
American Scene
THE SELFSERVICE GENERATION
THE LATEST RAGE
CLASS WARRIORS
THE UPS AND DOWNS OF THE SEX PILL
HURRYING HEALING
THE GOSPEL OF ABSTINENCE
THE AFTERMATH
THE HEROINE
SEPTEMBER 11 SPIN
Three Steps Forward
BLONDE AMBITION
THE ABORTION ART GALLERY
FLORIDA FETUS FIGHT
WHEN THIN BITES FIJI

A NEW MODEST PROPOSAL
THE SUPERSIZING OF AMERICA
A MIXED MESSAGE ON THE WORK ETHIC
TANSY GOLDENROD 101
BETTING ON DIVERSITY
ONEUPPING THE PRESCHOOLERS
A PILL FOR WHAT HAUNTS YOU
CLOES FIRST FOURTH
Speed Zone
THE MALCONTENT OF A CONTENT PROVIDER
RETHINKING THE RAPE SHIELD
PRINCE TELLITALL
TRASH TV TRICKERY
OJS NO VICTIM
BOBBITT BABBLING
ELIAN IN THE MIDDLE
REQUIEM FOR A PRINCESS
FEARING STRANGERS
THE COUGH HEARD ROUND THE WORLD
TALKING BACK
People Watching
MISTRESS OF CHAOS
YOURE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE SCHULZ
A DEATH IN THE FAMILY OF NEWSPAPERS
JACKIE WAS A MODEL OF DIGNITY TO THE END
FATHER WHO KNEW BEST
THE SPOCK GENERATION
THE LADY WITH ALL THE ANSWERS
RONALD REAGANS LONG GOODBYE
LAST DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Civil Other Liberties
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CHILDREN
OPEN OR EMPTYMINDED?
DONT ASK DONT TELL
WHEN HATE IS A CRIME
THE KACZYNSKI CONUNDRUM
THE CASE OF THE PREGNANCY POLICE
ON CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVILITY
IN THE COMBAT ZONE
ROCK OF AGES
PORTRAYING FDRAS HE WAS
FROM OUTLAWS TO INLAWS
Character Caricature
OUTOFCHARACTER EXPERIENCES
MIKE WE HARDLY KNEW YE
LIVES BUILT ON LIES
ACT ONE
ACT TWO
ACT THREE
LEGISLATE RESPECT? NO SIR
TIMOTHY MCVEIGH IS NO ENIGMA
BOB KERREYSAND OURLONG JOURNEY BACK
AMERICAN TALIBAN
THE VIEW FROM SOMEWHERE
THURMONDS PAST IS OUR PRESENT
RUSH THE WIMP
Family Matters
THE FUNCTIONAL AMERICAN FAMILY
MEET YOUR CHILDREN
A CHILD ROBBED OF HER CHILDHOOD
OVERWORK OVERWHELMS
STRANGERS AND DANGERS ON A SUMMER DAY
SINS OF THE SONS
OF JEWELS AND LAWS
THE ANSWER IS LOVE NOT SCIENCE
TAKING DADS CAR KEYS AWAY
CHASING THE DEMONS
TICK TOCK TICK TOCK
WALKING ON OUR MOTHERS BONES
At Large
THE HIDDEN WOMEN OF AFGHANISTAN
THE FIRST INTERNET WAR
AFTER THE GOTCHAS
AWFUL MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
RELIGIOUS ZEALOTS THERE AND HERE
ALL IN IT TOGETHER
RELIGION HEALS AND DIVIDES
FUNDAMENTAL MISOGYNY
ON EVIL
REMEMBRANCE AND RESILIENCE
WHEN SUICIDE BECOMES A WEAPON
911 247
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
THE HOME FRONT
BLAME THE WORKING MOTHER
THE END OF MOTHERHOOD AS WE KNEW IT
THE REALLY MEAN GIRLS
THE CANDIDATES WIFE
MVP ON THE DEFENSE TEAM
THE CANDIDATE
THE SENATOR
HISTORYS CHALLENGE TO LAURA BUSH
THE SILICONE STORY
THE RAGING HORMONE DEBATE
ARE WOMEN NOW INSIDERS ON THE WAR?
Tech Trail
INTERNET INTIMACY
REACH OUT AND MISS SOMEONE
BRAIN HOUSEKEEPING
ME AND MY PALM
BACK TO CIVILIZATION?
GOOD MORNING SPAMERICA
LIFE BEFORE THE CAMERAS
AN OLDFASHIONED UPGRADE
Trail Mix
DONT FRET MES AMIS ABOUT LE HOT DOG
THE BAGEL THAT ATE NEW YORK
JACKIES JUNQUE
THIRD REICH RHETORIC
FORWARD THINKING
MENOPOSITIVE
CAFFEINE WARRIOR
Gender Other Gaps
HOW GIRLS READ BOYS
SISTERHOOD SPLINTERED
EQUALITY AT 63?
THE FIRST CAMPAIGN FOR FIRST GENTLEMAN
ATTACK ADS WITH A WOMANS TOUCH
ONESIZEFITSALL EDUCATION
A KINDER GENTLER PATRIARCHY
LOST IN THE GENDER GAP
MARRIAGE ON A SLIDING SCALE
Bio Other Ethics
OF LIFE AND PROLIFE
DR PARTNER TO DR PROVIDER
THE MONEY OR THE EGG?
HELLO DOLLYAND MOLLY AND POLLY AND LOLLY AND FOLLY
THE SEED CATALOG
CLONE OR CLOWN
A MORAL BANKRUPTCY
MOURNING MEDICINE
A KIDNEY FOR THE BOSS
DYING THE DUTCH WAY
DEMONS IN A DEATH PENALTY CASE
DYING THE KEVORKIAN WAY
GETTING TO KNOW DEATH
Connections Missed Connections
MARRYING UP?
HOW TO CAPTURE MR RIGHT
THE NAME GAME FOR NEWLYWEDS
MARRIAGE AS POVERTY CURE
A HONEYMOON OR JAIL?
A NEW TAKE ON DIVORCE
BATTLE OF SEXESAND EXCESSES
WHAT CELIBACYS GOT TO DO WITH IT
OF SEX AND SILENCE
TO HAVE AND TO WAGER
Close to Home
THE GOTTAGO GENERATION
OUTLIVING MY FATHER
THE TRIED AND TRUE VACATION
I WORKED HARD FOR THAT FURROWED BROW
SQUIRREL SENSE
THE RIGHT COURSE FOR MIDLIFE
HERE AND NOW WITH AUNTIE
BRAVE BEGINNING
HE WAS THE BOSSAND A LOT MORE
WELCOME TO MY GRANDSON
Rest Stop
AMERICAS INCREDIBLE SHRINKING VACATION
A SENSE OF PLACE
MY LEFT KNEE
PUTTING DOWN ROOTS
MINDFUL OF THE UNCERTAINTY OF LIFE
AFTER 20 YEARS OF CULTIVATION MY GARDEN IS GROWING ME
A COMMENCEMENT DAY CONFESSION
Acknowledgments
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About the author (2010)

Ellen Goodman's column appears in more than 400 newspapers. A syndicated columnist for the Boston Globe and the Washington Post Writers Group, and the coauthor of the New York Times bestselling book on female friendships I Know Just What You Mean, Goodman lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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