Rally Round the Flag Boys, by Max Shulman

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

1959, 1960, I was reading everything Max Shulman wrote because of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.  In that one he introduced Maynard G. Cribbs of later fame, and gave most people their first look at Beat, Beatniks, and much of the como se llama life outside anything most had considered.  Although Dobie Gillis had a TV series in his name, the Maynard Cribbs character lived longer in another vapid TV series about an Island somewhere.

So when I encountered Rally Round the Flag Boys in a box of books at a garage sale recently I happily paid out a quarter for an unexpected delight far in excess of my memories of the book from 50 years ago.

In a 278 page yarn filled with laughs and poignant human insights Shulman peels away the 21st Century fantasies of how America ‘was’, “Thank you veterans, for your service“, and any lingering thoughts you might have about romance, marriage and the American dream when  the citizenry saw career military men as “too lazy to steal“.

A wonderful, hilarious book before during and after its own time.  Story of a small Yankee town in Connecticut where the US Army needs to place a Nike Missile Site.  A brutally honest story of the wealthy people running the town and why they oppose a sanitary landfill because of the cost, oppose sex education in their public schools because of the danger of KNOWING, oppose anything that stands in the way of development of real estate into more neighborhoods for NYC commuters.  Neighborhoods located in quarries, bogs, swamps, with names like Powderhorn Hill and Patriot Valley.

What a fun book.  I’m finished with it and will happily mail it to you if you’d care to read it.  Contact me by email.

Old Jules

Afterthought note:  This book teeters on the brink of upcoming events, but barely pre-dates them.  No Berlin Wall until 1961, no Cuban Missile Crisis until 19 what?62?, no Vietnam War until 1965, no Kennedys assassinated yet, no Martin Luther King, no Watergate.   No Fidel Castro.   Cuba was still clean sandy beaches for US tourists.  And the book is the “How I view the world” of those US citizens back before things got nasty.  J.

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