On what to read when you’ve ODed on cable-news punditry
Current affairs don’t have to be current. Take a break with Charles Dickens. Little Dorrit is one of my favorite books of social commentary. It’s fiction set in 19th century England, but you’ll still learn a lot about power, politics and money in the here and now. Once you meet Mr. Merdle, you’ll instantly see a Victorian Bernie Madoff. In the actual here and now, I love the way Christopher Buckley takes his comic novels into the land of lobbyists — it’s the military-industrial complex in his funny and refreshing novel They Eat Puppies, Don’t They? And lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about Texas politics and rereading the great Molly Ivins. Grab a collection of her journalism and you’re reminded of what wicked fun the democratic process can be. In Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She? she manages to be both brutal and affectionate about our political class.
New York Times columnist Gail Collins’ new book is As Texas Goes … How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda
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