I Hope My Corpse Gives You the Plague: My Life in the Bush Era of Ghosts—Essays

The essays in I Hope My Corpse Gives You the Plague were written, for the most part, between 2002 and 2005 and were published regularly at that time on some of the nation’s most important, visible, and significant political web sites. In the book itself, Engel writes this Acknowledgement, giving readers some idea not only of the importance of his own work, but an idea also of the vital importance—in an age of news and cultural blackout—of the online outlets where that work originally appeared:

These essays previously appeared, sometimes in altered form, on one or more of the following websites: Counterpunch.org; Countercurrents.org; Dissident Voice.org; Online Journal.com; Strike-the- Root.com; LewRockwell.com; PressAction.com, and others.

I wish to express my gratitude for the innovation and courage of the editors Jeffrey St. Claire of Counterpunch; Bev Conover of Online Journal; Sunil Sharma, Kim Peterson, and Joshua Frank of Dissident Voice; Rob of Strike-the-Root; Lew Rockwell of Lew Rockwell.com; The Editors at Countercurrents.org; and Mark Hand of Press Action for publishing not only these essays, but thousands like them each year, giving voice to hundreds of authors who would otherwise never see print, being ignored by the “Official Media.”

Day after day, week after week, year after year, these sites and others like them offer venues for writers, scholars, journalists and activists to speak truth to Power. It’s true that Power couldn’t give a damn. But many people crushed by that same power find ideas on these web sites worth living and dying for.


That Engel’s essays are now gathered together, between covers, available to be read in the continuity that alone can fully reveal their real scope, aim, intensity, passion, power, humanity, and insight—this is something readers will be extraordinarily grateful for. Oliver, without question, is immensely pleased to make the essays available in this form.

Phil Rockstroh, himself a remarkable writer, observer, and online essayist, said this about Corpse. We can conclude here, for now, with Rockstroh’s statement. Please buy and read the book to see how true and accurate Rockstroh’s words are:

Like Walt Whitman, Adam Engel merges his own body with the body of America—but instead of a Body Electric finds himself inside the hulking, putrefying corpse of a shambling zombie. Every bit as fearless as he is funny, Engel tears a rotting arm from the monster and beats his own laughing corpse with it. This is a brave, harrowing collection, a movable autopsy, a Book Of The Dead for a dying empire.

—Phil Rockstroh, Poet, Essayist.


About Adam Engel

adam-engelAdam Engel, believing that ANYONE can wind up the star of a Reality TV-show at any time, and fearing he might be next ("A paranoid is someone who knows a little about what's going on," quoth William Burroughs), fled to Belize, where he and his somewhat older but still vigorous—not to mention "clean and sober"—business partner, Jim Morrison, run a small used bookstore. At one time, Adam Engel wrote this of himself:
He was once sixteen and roamed tree-lined streets and wide green schoolyards under cerulean suburban skies. He believed he was Shelley, and that his tiny girlfriend, who worked in a shoe-store, was Mary Shelley. Now he is probably only you, or someone you know. Who knows, really? He could be anyone, maybe even me. . . But he is no longer Shelley, nor will he ever know Mary again.
And then, at another time, this:
Adam Engel grew up in Jericho, Long Island. About twenty-five years after that, he finished his first masterpiece, Topiary, a Novel. Corpse is his second. He is working on a third. He'd probably get along reasonably well with your mother, but hate your father, due to unresolved conflicts that have nothing to do with current realities.