From the publisher:
Offering a new look at everyday things, the editor of The Atlantic Monthly considers a variety of topics ranging from tax courts to religion, archaeology to ventriloquism, in a collection of unpredictable, shrewd, and informative essays.
Publishers Weekly, January 2, 1995
Murphy (coauthor with William Rathje of Rubbish: The Archaeology of Garbage) here collects 37 of his essays, 36 previously published in the Atlantic Monthly, where he is managing editor, and one in Harper’s. The pieces are characterized by Murphy’s ability to communicate his enthusiasm for the unusual. “Hey, Let Me Outta Here!” describes a visit to the International Ventriloquist Convention, where the author investigated the rapidly growing field of gospel ventriloquism, devoted to spreading the message of evangelical Christianity through puppetry. “All the Pope’s Men” is a detailed look at the ongoing religious scholarship on the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. Other articles deal with a variety of subjects, including the debate over cat vs. dog ownership in the U.S., aspects of linguistics and reflections on the Stonehenge monuments in England. An informative, entertaining collection defined by Murphy’s unquenchable curiosity for just about every subject.