The Regulator welcomes Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn’s Long Half-Time Walk) for a reading and signing of his new book, Beautiful Country Burn Again: An Election, a Rebellion, and the Next American Revolution. In a sweeping work of reportage set over the course of 2016, New York Times bestselling author Ben Fountain recounts a surreal year of politics and an exploration of the third American existential crisis.
Twice before in its history, the United States has been faced with a crisis so severe it was forced to reinvent itself in order to survive: first, the struggle over slavery, culminating in the Civil War, and the second, the Great Depression, which led to President Roosevelt’s New Deal and the establishment of America as a social-democratic state. In a sequence of essays that excavate the past while laying bare the political upheaval of 2016, Fountain argues that the United States may be facing a third such crisis, one that will require a “burning” of the old order as America attempts to remake itself.
Ben Fountain was born in Chapel Hill and grew up in the tobacco country of eastern North Carolina. A former practicing attorney, he is the author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the novel Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award and a finalist for the National Book Award. Billy Lynn was adapted into a feature film, and his work has been translated into over twenty languages. His series of essays published in The Guardian on the 2016 U.S. presidential election was subsequently nominated by the editors of The Guardian for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary. He and his wife live in Dallas.