Wisdom of Fools: Stories of Extraordinary Lives by Phil Harvey

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lhillPhil Harvey’s short stories won the Antietam Review award and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His fiction has appeared in over a dozen literary magazines including Phantasmagoria, The MacGuffin, Natural Bridge, and the Dos Passos Review. His first novel, Show Time, was hailed as “a thinking reader’s thriller and a thoroughly entertaining read.”

Follow a hard-driving smoke jumper, seven starving reality game-show participants, a virginal surrogate mother, and an enemy combatant in this collection of nuanced contemporary tales.

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“I liked how each story was on a different subject”

Five Star Review on Amazon By Cindy Cox

Each of the 8 short stories in this book were definitely filled with fools. I liked how each story was on a different subject. Some of them turned out to be different than I first imagined. Nice collection showing that extreme pressure will make us do weird things. I would read other books by this author.

About the Author

Phil Harvey’s fiction has appeared in over a dozen literary magazines including Phantasmagoria, The MacGuffin, Natural Bridge, and the Dos Passos Review. His short story Roberta’s River was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and Bait and Switch won an award from Antietam Review. The author’s latest releases, three collections of short stories, examine the important moments when people touch something at their own core or at the core of their relationships with others. Currently he is working on more stories about the transformative capacities of alcohol and sex.

Show Time, his first novel, was hailed by the Washington Independent Review of Books as “a psychological thriller that takes reality shows, and in fact much of our popular culture, into a realm of true horror…a thinking reader’s thriller and a thoroughly entertaining read.” Other novels include Just In Time, in which a Wall Street commodities trader is deposited back in the Pleistocene era. Indian Summer follows the transformation of a Peace Corps volunteer during the Eastern India famine in 1967.

Harvey’ book Let Every Child Be Wanted: How Social Marketing is Revolutionizing Contraceptive Use Around the World drew praise from former President Jimmy Carter. Government Creep: What the Government is Doing That You Don’t Know About, said ACLU President Nadine Strossen, “will give you the creeps about the increasingly invasive role of government in every aspect of our lives-our homes, our workplaces and even our bodies and minds.”

The author’s efforts to enhance the quality of life for others expand far beyond fiction. He and coauthor Lisa Conyers interviewed 150 welfare recipients for the book The Human Cost of Welfare. The authors believe the system is broken, and proof is found in the anecdotes shared from people with direct experience of its flaws. This detailed review offers solutions based on common sense and a deep understanding of how humans value themselves and their lives.

As the president of Adam & Eve, one of the world’s leading suppliers of sex toys, adult films and condoms, Harvey is a warrior for libertarian values. The Government vs. Erotica, the true story of the federal government’s attack on his company, drew praise from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. The narrative of his long fight for the freedom to distribute “obscene” materials–meaning condoms–by mail spurred the ALA Intellectual Freedom Roundtable to nominate the work as the year’s best book on intellectual freedom. The Media Coalition called it “a frightening, enlightening story.”

Harvey is currently writing Welfare for the Rich, an exploration of how the government subsidizes the wealthy at the expense of ordinary taxpayers. Some of the worst offenses are found in the vast sums paid to thriving agribusinesses and wealthy farmers. “Needy” companies like Boeing are given subsidies while oil companies receive tax breaks. Solar panel companies are given government loans and General Motors gets bailed out. Wealthy taxpayers, meanwhile, are allowed to deduct mortgage interest on their palatial second homes.

The Huffington Post, Forbes and other publications have published his contrarian articles and essays. These shorter pieces detail the issues about which he is most passionate: libertarian causes like civil liberties, ending the war on drugs, and reproductive health. He has appeared on CNN’s “Business Unusual” and was the subject of a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation special.

Harvey is the chairman of DKT International, a Washington, D.C.-based charity that implements family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention programs in eighteen countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. As a philanthropist, he provided funds to Oregon State’s initiative to legalize marijuana. The DKT Liberty Project, which Harvey founded, works to end the injustices perpetuated by the War on Drugs and to raise awareness of freedom of speech issues. Harvey is also on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Phil Harvey lives with his wife, Harriet Lesser, in Cabin John, Maryland. He is stepfather and grandfather to several very promising kids. He welcomes emails from readers who have serious and thoughtful questions about any of his stories, novels or books.

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