Politics: Observations And Arguments, 1966-2004

Politics: Observations And Arguments, 1966-2004

  • Publish Date: 2004-07-15
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Hendrik Hertzberg
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The Penguin Press
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An analysis of American politics from the presidency of Johnson to the present is arranged in such themes as campaigns, the media, and wars, in a volume that draws on the author's work as a winner of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence to illuminate particular events in modern history. 35,000 first printing. These are rich times for writers of Hendrik Hertzberg's political persuasion. The stalwart political commentator has plenty of qualified company on the left when it comes to critiquing the conservative revolution, notably Lewis Lapham, William Greider, and Paul Krugman. But the former New Republic editor and current New Yorker executive editor has a voice that is particularly suitable for an on-the-outs observer. Hertzberg seems almost delighted to pinpoint hypocrisy, inconsistency, greed, and masked cynicism. At his best, he makes indignation fun. Politics gathers dozens of Hertzberg's editorials and essays in one hefty volume, organizing them in loose subdivisions ("The Wayward Media," "Wedge Issues," "2000 + 9/11"). The former Jimmy Carter speechwriter isn't above lancing those on the left who fail to match their ideals with their actions, but, naturally, he's at his best when scrutinizing those on the right. The Reagan and Bush II administrations proved to be particularly inspirational. Keen, pithy, and daring (if not always right; in 1988, he ruefully forecasted a Dan Quayle administration), Hertzberg ranks with the finest political writers of his era. The proof is in this wide-ranging and smartly edited compilation. --Steven Stolder

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