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The Chance of a Lifetime…

A Series of Books About The Patient Remaking of American Life

Remaking American Life by Author Mack W. Borgen

These books are premised upon three primary observations about contemporary American society. First, the issues facing American Life are numerous, compounding, and inter-related. Second, they cannot be resolved by mere changes in our social and economic policies or by the election of a new crop of politicians. And lastly, the intentionally modest, but hopeful beliefs, that we can do better and the the place to begin is everywhere.

Our sense of community has been weakened, our political system has become dysfunctional, and our economic system is, at best, challenged. Thus, we Americans can no longer wait for periodic bursts of accidental honesty from our leaders. For all of these reasons, defining the direction and achieving the changes necessary to improve the quality and the nature of American life can no longer be deferred or delegated. They are, once again, up to each of us. Both for our country and in our own self-interest, there are things which we, not they, must now do.

Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America
Volume I (1957-1976)

by Mack W. Borgen, (March 2018) (Volume I – 524 pp)
Schmitt & Brody Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA

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This book introduces history in an entirely new way — without the tired stories, heavy words; and litany of “isms” and “ologies.”

The Memorable Words, both the dead serious and the lighthearted, are carefully presented – the fascinating and frivolous, the tragic and momentous, the eloquent and bumbling; the touching and endearing – from Ike to Obama, from Lucy to Lady Gaga.

Dead Serious and Lighthearted is written without agenda, but it carefully identifies who said what and when and where – exactly. Its words can help us know our country; better remember who we are and from whence we came.

This first volume presents the words from 1957 until 1976 – from American Bandstand to The Godfather, from Lucy to Charlie’s Angels and Rocky’s call of “Yo Adrian!”; from the end of the Fifties through the wildness of the Sixties, from the ascendancy of the Civil Rights, feminist, and environmental movements through the tragedy of Vietnam and the disgrace of Watergate.


Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America – Volume II (1977-1993)

by Mack W. Borgen, (August 2018) (Volume II – 416 pp)
Schmitt & Brody Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA

In Volume II, the second of the three-volume Dead Serious and Lighthearted, the Memorable Words of Modern America from 1977 until 1993 are presented – with each entry identifying the speaker or writer; with each entry carefully placed into context and explained as to meaning. Once again and as with Volume I, the memorable words include the fascinating and frivolous, the tragic and momentous, the eloquent and bumbling.

From Star Wars’ “may the force be with you” to Nicholson’s “you can’t handle the truth;” from the lightness of Happy Days to the edginess of Roseanne; from the efforts of Carter to the rise of Reagan; from the Go-Go 1980s and the Fall of Communism; from the emergence of modern conservatism to the impacts of globalism and technology.


Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America – Volume III (1994-2015)

by Mack W. Borgen, (January 2019) (Volume II – 618 pp)
Schmitt & Brody Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA

In Volume III, the last of the three-volume Dead Serious and Lighthearted series, the Memorable Words of Modern America from 1994 until 2015 are presented — with each entry again placed into context and explained as to meaning. As with the prior two volumes, the memorable words include the fascinating and frivolous, the tragic and momentous, the eloquent and bumbling.

From Forrest Gump to 12 Years a Slave; from 9/11 to the Great Recession; from “don’t ask, don’t tell” to “hands up! don’t shoot; from “mission accomplished” to “hope is not a strategy;” from the “Contract with America” to “drill, baby, drill;” from the impact of “shock and awe” to the reminder that “politics ain’t beanbag” and the rise of Trump(ism).


The Relevance of Reason –
The True Facts and Hard Data About the State of Current America

I am pleased to confirm that both Book One, The Relevance of Reason – The True Facts and Hard Data About the State of Current America – Business and Politics (July, 2013) (408 pp) and its companion book, The Relevance of Reason – The True Facts and Hard Data About the State of Current America – Society and Culture (October, 2013) (438 pp) are available for purchase.

The books are available in both hardback and paperback. It would be greatly appreciated if you would order the books directly from this website’s store or by merely emailing the author at mwborgen@live.com. All book orders will be promptly processed and shipped by UPS or other commercial shipping. Alternatively, the books are also available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Lastly, you may order directly from my publisher’s website at SummerlandPublishing.com. Bookstores and public and academic libraries may also order these books through Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Quality Books, or Follett.


More from the Author

It is time for America to (finally) change. Again. Through our words, actions, and example, it is time for each of us to re-assert and to display our powers of individual leadership. It is time for us, together, to stare down the face of crazy. And that is good.

My books address these subjects with both humor and levity. They were written with coffee. But they should be read with beer. At times, I have even incorporated some of the touches of absurdity which have also come to characterize American life. However, the use of humor and levity and the touches of the absurd are far more than mere matters of style. I believe that they are essential to renewing any constructive discussion about America’s challenges because most Americans are disillusioned, exhausted, edgy, frustrated, and in some cases angry. They are not in the mood for another thick, wordy tome, and it is hoped that the use of humor may lighten the subjects and may help to bring a wide audience back into our needed national conversation.

The breadth of the topics addressed in these books is terribly wide. At times over the last several years, I have feared that this entire effort may be nothing more a fool’s errand or what the famous historian, Will Durant, used to more gently refer to as a “brave stupidity.” Nevertheless, I have chosen to continue my undertaking — my brave stupidity — with stubborn diligence. In these books I will try to concisely, accurately and objectively describe the true state of the American condition, to present the reasoned bases for optimism in the solution of our issues, and to identify the exact nature of those actions which we must now take to reclaim both the goodness and the promise of American life.

A more detailed description of this series of books, The Chance of a Lifetime … and of  the books in the series can be found on the Book Titles page.