Archive for July 2008

Getting to like Richard Nixon?

Posted by HC in Books / TV / US politics on 8 July 2008 | No comments ›

If you liked Donald Draper in Madmen, maybe you should like poor old Richard Nixon. After all, a big bit of that brilliant show was to do with Don’s work for Nixon in the 1960 election which saw John F Kennedy elected. Don seemed to feel that whatever you felt about Nixon, his was a classic American poor-boy story of the kind voters ought to be able to identify with. Not so JFK, with his silver spoon. In Nixonland, Rick Perlstein fleshes out this picture. Read more ›

That great guy Barry Goldwater

Posted by HC in Books / Travel / UK politics / US politics on 4 July 2008 | No comments ›

Barry Goldwater, handsome, manly, outspoken. Just the character we could do with in politics today. Yet forty years ago, he was a bogeyman for my generation. So it did me a lot of good to read Pure Goldwater, an anthology of the great man’s own, mostly informal, writing. Read more ›

A Russian-Jewish picaresque

Posted by HC in Books / Ethics / Travel on 4 July 2008 | No comments ›

This would be a great novel if all it did was add to the heap of comic writing about Jewishness. But Gary Shteyngart’s Absurdistan scores many times over by taking us – breathless, gob-smacked – from the nouveau-riche world of glamorous, dodgy Moscow and on out to the staggeringly vibrant, but staggering, world of the ex-Soviet republics. Read more ›