In Delusions of Grandeur Joey Franklin examines the dreams and delusions of America’s most persistent mythologies—including the beliefs in white supremacy and rugged individualism and the problems of toxic masculinity and religious extremism—as they reveal themselves in the life of a husband and father fast approaching forty. With prose steeped in research and a playful, lyric attention to language, Franklin asks candid questions about what it takes to see clearly as a citizen, a parent, a child, a neighbor, and a human being.
How should a white father from the suburbs talk with his sons about the death of Trayvon Martin? What do video games like Fortnite and Minecraft reveal about our appetites for destruction? Is it possible for Americans to celebrate bootstrap pioneer history while also lamenting the slavery that made it possible? How does the American tradition of exploiting cheap labor create a link between coal mining and plasma donation in southeast Ohio?
Part cultural critique, part parental confessional, Delusions of Grandeur embraces the notion that the personal is always political, and reveals important, if sometimes uncomfortable, truths about our American obsessions with race, class, religion, and family.