On recommending books

    We do it enthusiastically, breathlessly, when we’re young, with no worries about whether or not the friend to whom we recommend a book will find anything at all meaningful in it. Have you read this? You must read it. I don’t recommend books very often any more, and I … Continue Reading On recommending books

Gingrich the Entrepreneur

            Republicans may be refining the idea of what business competence means. The party has long cherished expertise gathered in the marketplace over mere political skill or experience.  But there was an interesting nuance introduced in a Washington Post article about Newt Gingrich, published today, which suggests that the ideal … Continue Reading Gingrich the Entrepreneur

Nancy and the Gavel

I wrote a quick piece about a striking image that came out of Sunday’s health care reform vote. Around noon, Nancy Pelosi and top Democratic leaders walked from the Cannon Office Building to the House, with Pelosi carrying a rather over sized gavel. It was an impromptu gesture, by all … Continue Reading Nancy and the Gavel

The American Saturnalia

The first shopping day of the Christmas season is upon us, with the usual crowds, the frantic sales and the inevitable parking nightmare. Even the name—Black Friday—suggests that Americans are deeply ambivalent about this strange shopping holiday. But is it, perhaps, the most American day of the year? A spectacle … Continue Reading The American Saturnalia

The Gramophone Awards

            Just back from two weeks in London and Paris, including a visit to the Gramophone Awards on Friday afternoon. It’s been more than a decade since I last attended the Awards. I remember them at the Savoy Hotel (I think), a slightly more glamorous but sedate affair. Now they’re … Continue Reading The Gramophone Awards