From where I squint, Josh Alan Friedman is the finest American writer of books. (For you who travel solely on the cyberhighway, books are paper-made collections of text bound by a spine and two covers.) Whether it be Tales of Times Square, his lament for New York before Benito Giuliani and Mickey Mouse made it safe for yuppies and tourists, or Tell The Truth Until They Bleed, a collection of his music journalism, which details popular musicians who still play blue notes and sport track marks, Friedman’s oeuvre chronicles the soulful stuff of American life, currently getting methodically whacked by the fear-filled lackeys of corporate-think who goose-step whichever way required to keep themselves in gelato and Grey Goose. His latest classic tome, Black Cracker (New Texture), dubbed “an autobiographical novel,” is a reminiscence of the author’s childhood in the early ’60s as the only white kid in an all-black school. Friedman splits sides, breaks hearts and always remains ruthlessly honest about the real world, a place that doesn’t conform to the politically correct wishes of liberals or conservatives.
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