The Three Great Books of The Renaissance
The Tragedy of Drake Raft
by Dr. Elliot McGucken

SpinTech Magazine, December 12th 1999
In the first novel of the WWW Renaissance, Elliot McGucken sets out to tell the tragic tale of what happens when politics pollutes literature. The story is rendered through the eyes and in the slacker vernacular, of two teenagers (Cliff and Timber), who aim to solve the mysterious death of Cliff's brother, Drake Raft, a Princeton senior and renegade sonneteer.

The novel reads with the speed and humor of a Twain odyssey, as the two teenage heroes, armed with a map and conviction to solve Drake's murder, catch a train from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, bound for Princeton. After arriving at Princeton, they encounter the empty-hearted and morally vacant college scene which is the basis of much of McGucken's humorous--sometimes biting-- observations about the dismantling of the Western Canon and the stifling cynicism of students and professors alike.

J.C., The US Naval Academy

Just as I am on the verge of finishing my first rigorous year at the Naval Academy, I am on the verge of finishing this great achievement. It has rocked like few books I have read, and when I say rocked I mean it in the truest sense of the word. I'm a lover of rock n' roll, but only the kind that rocks the soul and your work here is more counterculture than one hundred million Woodstocks and gave me a better high than the biggest, shiniest heroin needle ever could.

When the book spoke with characters who are replicas of the hearts and souls of our peers, I didn't understand it. But the scene after Uncle Walt's piano lesson, that is a work of Shake-a-spear's caliber. From then on I understood the book. It's a satire of Swift's caliber, and I can see the characters in the people who surround me. All I can say to that is Hallelujah and Amen! The truth is being spoken in a mighty way and rocks the soul! We are on the verge of a great renaissance here, it's happening even as we speak.

My heartfelt gratitude for writing that book. God bless yer merry soul!

cover Navigating an American Renaissance
by Dr. Elliot McGucken

The New York Times
It is simply unprecedented...KillDevilHill.Com and two related sites--Western Canon University and The Jolly Roger, two avowed pro-Western canon communities.

The American Dream: Past, Present, and Future--jf from
I have yet to witness anywhere in the popular culture where Emerson, Melville, Jefferson and Thoreau walk alongside G'n'R and Eminen, and where the classics are given their due as the eternal popular culture. There's a great diversity of tone and tenor throught the varied chapters of fiction, poetry, and philosophy, and the authors are best when they are entertaining and enlightening with their branded traditional poetry, rather than ranting about the postmodern liberal domination of popular culture and the university. But even the rants are good, and a lot of fun, and certainly nowhere near as vulgar as Eminen and his popular brethern. I always thought the National Review should publish more poetry and fiction, and if they ever do, I know where they can find it.

The book spans a nebulous array of topics, which would detract from its strength if it weren't for the fact that life in the year 2000 spans a nebulous array of topics. There's a resounding, honest freshness to these words, as they constantly aspire towards the deeper truths and a dream of a renaissance, and I suspect that these qualities will carry these sentiments far, throughout both space and time. It seems that perhaps more than anyone else these days, they're using words for what words are best suited for: awakening our deeper selves.

I'm a bit more of a pessimist than they are about cultural matters, but I hope they're onto something, and the book at least inspired me to dust off the classics that were sitting in my milk crates up in the attic, from college. And for that, I am indebted to the noble crew of The Jolly Roger.

Eternity in a Grain of Sand
The Most Perfect Silence of Poetry

by Dr. Elliot McGucken

Simply Fantastic--To See My Soul Expressed in Words
Krissy A (Austin, Texas)

Simply put, this is a great poetry anthology for our generation. I met Drake Raft while he was out filming his "What is Your Favorite Great Book" documentary on 6th Street here in Austin, and I had I read this book, I would have probably given its title as the answer. I greatly enjoyed the fluidity of the poetry, how the strict structure never compromised the meaning nor aesthetics. And there's a subtle, yet powerful messages which echos throughout the pages, along the lines of "to he who has, more shall be give, and to he who has not, even that shall be taken away." I felt like a lot of the poems had been written about me; it at times made me defensive, and at other times I wish they had been written for me. I especially liked "Poetry for a Pristine Girl," "In the Name of Freedom," "Eternity in Grain of Sand," and "The Most Perfect Silence."

I know where the most perfect silence is,
Seen it in the wild blue off Hatteras,
A mile out, rainbowed sails in silent bliss,
Looked like they'd collide, but they safely passed.
I know when the most perfect silence is,
Down a dusty Ohio road, high noon,
No shirt on, being burned by the sun's kiss,
Sixteen, takin' my time-- it was still June.
I know what the most perfect silence is,
It's what we say when falling out of love,
It roars and thunders right through the kiss,
Says all that no words can ever speak of.
I know why the most perfect silence is,
It is there for the whisper to be born,
The whisper in her ear became the kiss,
Just a dream in DC early one morn.
I know who the perfect silence is for,
It is for the ones whom we love the best,
It is there to protect them from our core,
By the silent trust we all seek to rest.
And I know how rare that silence can be,
With everyone talkin', it's hard to hear,
But I know I felt it, on the streets of DC,
The sound in her eyes-- it was crystal clear.
And it brought back to mind the rainbowed sails,
And the way it looked like they would collide,
Like two souls set upon fate's iron rails,
But the most perfect silence never died.

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