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A Colossal Wreck
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About the Author

Alexander Cockburn (1941-2012) was the coeditor of CounterPunch and the author of a number of titles, including Corruptions of Empire, The Golden Age Is in Us, Washington Babylon (with Ken Silverstein), and Imperial Crusades. One of three brothers, all journalists, he was the son of the journalist and author Claud Cockburn. Born in Ireland and educated in Scotland and England, he moved to America in 1972, soon establishing himself as a radical reporter and commentator, writing for the Village Voice, the New York Review of Books, Esquire and Harpers. He also wrote regular columns for the Nation, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New Statesman, and his influential newsletter CounterPunch. In 1991 he settled in Petrolia, a rural hamlet in Humboldt County, Northern California, where he remained until his death.

Reviews

"Whether journeying to Key West, Fla., Humboldt County, Calif., Ireland or Istanbul, Mr. Cockburn is a warrior/freethinker, armed with courage and gifted prose to cut down the hypocrisies of tyrants. He is a Marxist Mencken - a composite of comic-poet Andrei Condrescu, the erudite Christopher Hitchens and the gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson." "New York Times" "Probably the most gifted polemicist writing in English today."" Times Literary Supplement" "Alex struck American journalism like lightning." Michael Tomasky, "Daily Beast" "Always surprising, outrageous, brilliant and yet strangely compassionate. He weaves together the public and the private with a sustained comic ingenuity that is matchless." Edward Said " He had the courage to take on anything and anyone, from the most powerful organisations in the world to his closest friends, and the energy and persistence to follow his own path wherever it took him." "Guardian" "Alexander Cockburn set a high standard of crusading journalism for fifty years ... With his Wildean wit, love of elegant women, penchant for hunting and fondness for P. G. Wodehouse, Cockburn defied the stereotype of the disgruntled left-wing scribe." "Independent" "Cockburn essentially pioneered the modern persona for which Christopher Hitchens became much better known: the fancily Oxford-educated leftie Brit litterateur/journalist who would say all the outrageous things his bland Yank counterparts lacked the wit, courage, erudition, or epater -spirit to utter on their own ... Cockburn was far more committed and purposeful in his outrageousness." "Atlantic""From the Hardcover edition."

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