Friday, 18 March 2011

Book learning. We interrupt this broadcast.

There is nothing wrong with writing corduroy inspired reviews of the books you enjoy.

It whiles away the hours between tidying up after the kids and opening the next bottle of wine.

For years this takes place in an uneventful manner, few notice, even fewer take it remotely seriously (it's not supposed to be taken seriously).

Then something odd and slightly marvellous happened.

The author of said book drops a cheery comment on your blog.

I checked him out, he's real.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Book learning 65. Nixonland by Rick Perlstein

Oh Christmas book, Oh Christmas book, I love you because you lasted me into March.

I also love you because you were the warm chocolate bath of US political history that this US political uber-junkie needed. The immersion was almost perfect, good enough for the long soggy winter, the damp problem, the crying babies, the work pressures.

I would leave you by the bedside each morning with a whisper, 'I'll be back, tonight, I promise'.

I kept my end of the bargain, you kept yours. I told my friends about you, I took you places, hell, I even took you down the pub once or twice!

You told me about the hippies, the yippies, the war, the riots. We hang out with Ed Muskie, Spiro Agnew, Jerry Rubin and that swarthy fellow who kept on about the silent majority.

You delighted me with tales of the 1972 election and the insanity of the conventions, the social nuggets and Martha Mitchell.

Most of all, you reminded me why I consider Richard Nixon to be the benchmark of the darker arts of politics, the satanic master of the craft.

Thank you.