The 2008 presidential election might seem far away, but cable news indicates otherwise. This is the first of an oh-so-relevant series about books by or about politicians, wannabe politicians, talking heads, and other myriad wonks. Some weeks there might be a column. Some weeks there might just be what we think are pithy headlines and commentary and a few links. Some weeks, if weâ€™re feeling frisky, we might post a picture of a random objectâ€“say, a solar flare or a covered wagonâ€“just to leave you wondering what possible relevance it has to the accompanying commentary.
In this first edition: The â€˜Politicsâ€™ shelves of bookstores are swelling with books on presidential hopefuls. Last month was quite Hillary heavy.
- Her Way (Little, Brown & Company, $29.99) by Don Van Natta, Jr., and Jeff Gerth is raising a lot of hoopla for its indication that the Clintons had a â€œ20-year planâ€ to dominate American politics, Bill first, Hillary second. Canâ€™t you just picture the Clintons sitting crosslegged in a candlelit Arkansas basement, pricking themselves with pins for a blood pact? Awww. Despite an endorsement from Sean Hannity and a title that makes its subject sound like a petulant thirteen-year-old, the book insists itâ€™s balanced. Van Natta says he may even vote for Hillary.
- A Woman in Charge (Knopf, $27.95) by Carl Bernstein seems to be more popular. Her Wayâ€™s Amazon.com peak was a sales rank of 257, and it now languishes in the 3000â€™s. Bernsteinâ€™s reportedly more evenhanded bio hasnâ€™t dipped below 500; currently itâ€™s at a healthy 131. The New York Times liked this one better, too. Do readers find this book less biased, or do they just want to save a couple of bucks on cover price? We may never know.
- The intentions of Bay Buchananâ€™s Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton (Regenery Publishing, Inc., $27.95), which came out in May, are pretty clear from the get-go. The cover shows Hillary as a looming, shadowy mass of crowâ€™s feet and double chins (a far cry from the black-turtlenecked Lifetime-special treatment of her 2004 autobiography). The flap copy says the authorâ€“Patâ€™s sisterâ€“will reveal Hillaryâ€™s calculating switch from far left to center as she looks to the White House. Shucks. Considering the title, I thought the book was going to be about scandalous eye lifts and chin implants.
Love or or hate her, thereâ€™s a Hillary book for you.
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