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Hella Nation

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Hella Nation
Three and a half stars
Evan Wright. Putnam, $26
Amazon: Hella Nation

Good stuff here; too bad no one reads collections of journalism. These hard-won tales, dragged in from the grubby margins of America—where Wright’s anarchists, grifters, white supremacists, porn performers and one very gonzo war documentarian all hang out—deserve a wider audience than the latest fad diet manual. Wright, author of Generation Kill, is a meat-and-potatoes reporter, quick with the telling details, reluctant to pass judgment or drape his subjects in cheap sociology. So, in describing the destructive antics of an anarchist named Wingnut, for example, Wright shows us a guy who’s both admirably committed to his cause and completely ridiculous, and it’s to the writer’s credit that we believe it both ways.

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