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Bob Woodward is planning a fourth book on the Bush Administration to be published later this year, Editor & Publisher reported today. Woodward declined to discuss the contents of the upcoming project, telling E&P, “The book will be out later this year and it will speak for itself.”
Woodward’s previous three books on the Bush years closely tracked public opinion in their portrayal of the administration. Hence, Bush at War, which came out in 2002 when the president was riding high in the polls, was hugely fawning; Plan of Attack from 2004 was less sympathetic but still quite favorable; and State of Denial, published during the dog days of 2006, was by far the most critical. But the next one is a mystery. As E&P put it, “With the current mix of strong public sentiment against the Iraq War, but some tangible progress since ‘the surge,’ the tone of the next book remains a mystery.”
Incidentally, reading this reminds me of an interesting story about Woodward I read in Can’t Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, by Martin Torgoff. Torgoff recounts how Judy Belushi encouraged friends to cooperate with Woodward when he was writing Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi, but that many were furious after the book came out. Penny Marshall is reported to have said that the book was so factually inaccurate, “It makes you think that Richard Nixon may have been innocent.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”