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Oct
10
Hendrik Hertzberg
Booknotes, Sunday, October 10, 2004
Hendrik Hertzberg discusses Politics: Observations and Arguments, 1966-2004.

—from the publisher's website Cause for jubilation: At last, one of America's wisest and most necessary voices has distilled what he knows about politics, broadly speaking, into one magnificent volume. Imagine if the Rolling Stones were just now releasing its first greatest hits album, and you'll have some idea of how long overdue, and highly anticipated, Politics is. Here are Hendrik Hertzberg's most significant and hilarious and devastating and infuriating dispatches from the American scene-a scene he has chronicled for four decades with an uncanny blend of moral seriousness, high spirits, and perfect rhetorical pitch. Politics is at once the story of American life from LBJ to GWB and a testament to the power of the written word in the right hands. In those hands, everything seems like politics, and politics has never seemed more interesting. Hertzberg breaks down American politics into component parts-campaigns, debates, rhetoric, the media, wars (cultural, countercultural, and real), high crimes and misdemeanors, the right, and more-and draws the choicest, most telling pieces from his body of work to illuminate each, beginning each section with a new piece of writing framing the subject at hand. Politics 101 from the master, Politics is also an immensely rich and entertaining mosaic of American life from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s-a ride through recent American history with one of the most insightful and engaging guides imaginable. (timspalding)… (more)

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