Big Guns: A Novel

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From Steve Israel, the congressman-turned-novelist who writes “in the full-tilt style of Carl Hiaasen” (The Washington Post), comes a comic tale about the mighty firearm industry, a small Long Island town, and Washington politics.

When Chicago’s Mayor Michael Rodriguez starts a national campaign to ban handguns from America’s cities, towns, and villages, Otis Cogsworth, the wealthy chairman and CEO of Cogsworth International Arms worries about the effects on his company. In response he and lobbyist Sunny McCarthy convince an Arkansas congressman to introduce federal legislation mandating that every American must own a firearm. Events soon escalate.

Asabogue’s Mayor Lois Leibowitz passes an ordinance to ban guns in the town—right in Otis Cogsworth’s backyard. Otis retaliates by orchestrating a recall election against Lois and Jack Steele, a rich town resident, runs against her. Even though the election is for the mayor of a village on Long Island, Steele brings in the big guns of American politics to defeat Lois: political consultants, Super PACs, and celebrities. Soon, thousands of pro-gun and anti-gun partisans descend on Asabogue, along with an assortment of heavily armed rightwing militias and the national news media. Bucolic Asabogue becomes a tinderbox. Meanwhile, Washington politicians in both parties are caught between a mighty gun lobby whose support they need for reelection and the absurdity of requiring that every American with waivers for children under age four carry a gun. What ensues is a discomfiting, hilarious indictment of the state of American politics.

Former Long Island Congressman, Steve Israel has firsthand knowledge of the cynicism and corruption at the heart of our political system. Big Guns will make you laugh, will make you angry, and will make you think as you flip the pages faster and faster to find out what happens next.
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About the author

Congressman Steve Israel was the former United States Representative for New York’s third congressional district, serving in the United States Congress from 2001 to 2017. Born and raised in Brooklyn and on Long Island, Israel graduated from George Washington University. He is the author of the novels The Global War on Morris and Big Guns.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Apr 17, 2018
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781501118043
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Humorous / General
Fiction / Political
Fiction / Satire
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“Writing in the full-tilt style of Carl Hiaasen” (The Washington Post), this jaundiced political satire was ripped from the headlines and penned by an author who’s met the characters, heard the conversations, and seen the plot twists firsthand.

Meet Morris Feldstein, a pharmaceutical salesman living and working in western Long Island who loves the Mets, loves his wife Rona, and loves things just the way they are. He doesn’t enjoy the news; he doesn’t like to argue. Rona may want to change the world; Morris wants the world to leave him alone. Morris does not make waves. But one day Morris is seduced by a lonely, lovesick receptionist at one of the offices along his sales route, and in a moment of weakness charges a non-business expense to his company credit card. No big deal. Easy mistake.

But the government’s top-secret surveillance program, anchored by a giant, complex supercomputer known as NICK, thinks differently. NICK begins to thread together the connected strands of Morris’s life—his friends, family, his traffic violations, his daughter’s political leanings, his wife’s new patients, and even his failed romantic endeavors—and Morris becomes the government’s public enemy number one.

In his “laugh-out-loud funny” (Chris Matthews) debut novel, author “Steve Israel reveals his inner Jon Stewart” (Daily News, New York). The Global War on Morris toes the line between recent breaking headlines and a future that is not that difficult to imagine: “Why read this when one can see Washington insiders acting like buffoons in farcical situation on CNN? This is funnier than Wolf Blitzer, that’s why” (Library Journal).
One of the leading voices on national security issues in the U.S. Congress demonstrates how words have been sharp and powerful weapons of victory in this compilation of great military speeches that helped turn the tide of history. Among the dozens of inspirational speeches featured are: Moses instructing his followers to cross the Jordan River without him. . . Queen Elizabeth pledging to die with her soldiers as they faced the Spanish Armada. . . Patrick Henry choosing between liberty and death. . . Napoleon exhorting his troops as they marched on Egypt. . . Winston Churchill rallying his nation to victory. . . General Sir Montgomery refusing to retreat from Rommel. . . President Roosevelt preparing the American people for World War II. . . General Eisenhower fortifying his troops for the invasion of Normandy. . . President Reagan demanding that Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall. . . President George W. Bush encouraging America after 9/11. . . and more.


Congressman Israel has included speeches that have motivated and mobilized, challenged and comforted. Some were blurted in the heat of combat, others were carefully written in places far removed from the brutality of the battlefield, but all will inspire readers with the courage that moved people forward against all odds. Each speech is introduced with an insightful historic context. This dramatic sweep of military history in the words of history's military leaders serves to reinforce the concept that the pen is mightier than the sword.
A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time), featuring a new introduction by Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award finalist The Yellow Birds
 
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
 
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he experiences time travel, or coming “unstuck in time.”

An instant bestseller, Slaughterhouse-Five made Kurt Vonnegut a cult hero in American literature, a reputation that only strengthened over time, despite his being banned and censored by some libraries and schools for content and language. But it was precisely those elements of Vonnegut’s writing—the political edginess, the genre-bending inventiveness, the frank violence, the transgressive wit—that have inspired generations of readers not just to look differently at the world around them but to find the confidence to say something about it. Authors as wide-ranging as Norman Mailer, John Irving, Michael Crichton, Tim O’Brien, Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Strout, David Sedaris, Jennifer Egan, and J. K. Rowling have all found inspiration in Vonnegut’s words. Jonathan Safran Foer has described Vonnegut as “the kind of writer who made people—young people especially—want to write.” George Saunders has declared Vonnegut to be “the great, urgent, passionate American writer of our century, who offers us . . . a model of the kind of compassionate thinking that might yet save us from ourselves.”

Fifty years after its initial publication at the height of the Vietnam War, Vonnegut's portrayal of political disillusionment, PTSD, and postwar anxiety feels as relevant, darkly humorous, and profoundly affecting as ever, an enduring beacon through our own era’s uncertainties.

“Poignant and hilarious, threaded with compassion and, behind everything, the cataract of a thundering moral statement.”—The Boston Globe
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