Re: Books

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High middle-brow, or Petite Bourgeois, both Robin and Perlstein. I presume they chose to write HMB books for a HMB audience, rather than academic books to be read primarily by academics, and are/were capable of more, but the ambition will eventually change both the product and the writer.

Commodification, and especially turning the facts and history into a morality play, a teleology and an eschatology.

Coincidentally, last night I watched Konchalovskiy's 1970 film Uncle Vanya. Bondarchuk, Smoktunovsky, and that goddess Irina Kupchenko. Real fucking good, and the director probably elevated the Chekhov above HMB.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 9:48 AM
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I've been reading all the "Doonesbury" strips from the fall of 1976 through January of 1980, seriatim.

One of us!!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 12:30 PM
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I'm nearly finished with The Invisible Bridge. A lot of people are saying it's the best Perlstein yet, which it is, if you read him for the evocative details that capture the Zeitgeist. If you read him for the revelations of backroom machinations, the first two were better (possibly a function of the subject matter).

I am finding that my emotional response to this one is more intense, because it's starting to get close to events that I personally remember (or "remember", because while I can clearly recall reading about certain events, e.g. attempted assassinations of Ford, in Time magazine, it must have been a couple of years after the fact).

Major takeaway: the 1970s sucked in a lot of ways, but you have to lament the passing of an era when Ronald Reagan was considered a dangerous radical instead of a beloved statesman.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-30-14 5:48 AM
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but you have to lament the passing of an era when Ronald Reagan was considered a dangerous radical instead of a beloved statesman.

I can't find a clip (I guess the show was too early for easy copy-to-online-clip?), but wasn't it on ongoing joke of All in the Family that Archie Bunker was a Ronald Reagan supporter?


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 08-31-14 7:30 PM
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I am finding that my emotional response to this one is more intense, because it's starting to get close to events that I personally remember

Yeah, Nixonland depressed the hell out of me (especially reading it during the '08 campaign) but I ate it up. I find I have to put The Invisible Bridge aside more often both for the same reason as you and because I find myself getting too annoyed with Nixon, Reagan, and/or Perlstein. (I found the innuendo about Nancy Davis's life before she met Reagan a bit too much.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-31-14 7:46 PM
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Speaking of reading: I'm on track to finish Piketty tomorrow, but the chapter 16 summary may be late.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-31-14 11:14 PM
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