By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Julian Dibbell's cerebral review of Victor Sperandeo and Alvaro Almeida's novel Cra$hmaker was entertaining, and he puts the book in good company by comparing it to classics like Atlas Shrugged ["The Goldbug Variations," January 8]. But I won't let his highly crafted prose stop me from taking exception to his statement that this book contains "hidden truths that can never quite be confirmed."
To his credit, Mr. Dibbell gets to the heart of the matter by noting our Constitution's "enshrining gold and silver as the exclusive coin of the realm." This truth is not "hidden." And this truth can easily be "confirmed" by simply reading the revered document that is supposed to be the highest law of the land. What Cra$hmaker does is provide the means for thinking Americans to learn about money, while having fun doing it, because Cra$hmaker is an entertaining novel that is also informative. And its conclusion gets down to one simple truth. There is an incontrovertible difference between money and money substitutes, meaning that gold is different from dollars.
There are different ways to achieve an intended purpose. The Founding Fathers went down one road, and we stayed on it for nearly 200 years. In 1971, we went in the opposite direction when President Nixon abandoned the gold standard, subjecting everyone to the unconstitutional monetary system that has been imposed on America ever since. Anyone interested in learning why there was such an abrupt change of direction would do well to read Cra$hmaker.
As the author of Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies, I was pleased with the positive review by Francine Russo ["The Reel Deal," January 1], but there are a few errors that should be noted. I worked on the PBS New Yorkseries with Ric, not Ken, Burns, and there are 328, not 270, illustrations in the book. In addition, the credit for the author's photo was incorrect; it was taken by Gina Conte.