When the Kissing Had To Stop

Cult Studs, Khmer Newts, Langley Spooks, Techno-Geeks, Video Drones, Author Gods, Serial Killers, Vampire Media, Alien Sperm Suckers, Satanic Therapists, and Those of Us Who Hold a Left-Wing Grudge in the Post-Toasties New World Hip-Hop

Leading literary critic John Leonard is a master at decoding the fears and longings that animate our popular culture. When the Kissing Had to Stop is Leonard at his best, with his reflections on the best new literature of today and what it can tell us about America now.

The conspiracies and fears fostered by the Cold War continue to poison our national psyche. New enemies, real or imagined, have fostered subcultures of fantasy and paranoia, and vertiginous proclamations of doom and transformation. Leonard shows how our great novelists and essayists can help us to find some sense and sanity amid the dull roar of tabloids, talk shows, and the Disneyfication of everything.

Praise

“Leonard brings together the arcane and the everyday to achieve a clarity that is dazzling. I was knocked out by his insights.”
—Studs Terkel
“When I start to read John Leonard, it is as though I, while simply looking for the men's room, blundered into a lecture by the smartest man who ever lived.”
—Kurt Vonnegut

Books by John Leonard

Smoke and Mirrors
Violence, Television, and Other American Cultures

John Leonard

The Last Innocent White Man in America
And Other Writings

John Leonard

Lonesome Rangers
Homeless Minds, Promised Lands, Fugitive Cultures

John Leonard