I caught up with Butler, shortly after he'd received the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. We talked about his views on the place of popular culture in his literary fiction, on journalists and espionage, on his cats and hobbies, and on why the genre of the thriller speaks so readily to our contemporary imagination.
Much like 9/11 for Americans of this century, Kennedy's seemingly inexplicable murder inspired an almost existential sense of national and individual vulnerability. One rarely finds anyone who lived through the events of November 1963 that does not think that something profoundly changed in their wake.
Despite the U.S. government having traditionally subjugated, marginalized, and even committed genocide against the Lakota, members of the Oglala nation have served in every branch of the service both before and since the Snyder Act (1924) and the Nationality Act of 1940 made Native Americans legal U.S. Citizens.