This was originally published in the NEW AMERICAN REVIEW in 1968 as a long story entitled, "The Cat in the Hat for President." That was the year that Richard Nixon was first elected president and, according to a grand jury, the police rioted at the Democratic National Convention, where hippies and Yippies were protesting the Vietnam War--then at its height. Coover presents the Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat as the ideal presidential candidate because he can transform himself in an instant, appearing to be one thing before one audience, another before a different audience. The story is a brilliant satire of American politics that culminates in a hallucigenic view of American history that includes much of the sex and violence generally omitted from traditional histories. In the long run, the story celebrates the energy of creation and imagination, which is also the energy of destruction and devastation, that lies at the heart of American culture.
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August 1980 : USA Hardback