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Four million Americans, it is reported, plan to attend activities connected with the Obama–Biden Inaugural in Washington–roughly ten times the prior record. That’s enough to convince any sane person to stay home. So what to do?
I propose an inaugural cocktail. To me it feels like 1933 all over again (not that I was alive then, mind). Herbert Hoover, a far better man than his eventual Republican successor, was heading off to salvage something of his name (he would succeed at that, by the way). FDR was about to start the first of his four terms, and Prohibition was coming to an end.
Of that era’s cocktails my favorite was the Clover Club. It’s a vintage drink, popular enough during the Depression to earn Esquire‘s scorn. A bit sweet, a bit sour, and no need for a second. You take one part grenadine or raspberry syrup (pomegranate juice in a pinch), two parts fresh squeezed lemon juice, and half an egg white. Put them in a shaker with cracked ice and shake vigorously to a creamy froth. Add eight parts gin and a dash of apple brandy. Drink to the strains of Roosevelt’s campaign song, “Happy Days Are Here Again.”
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Chances that an American knows the position of his or her senators on health-care reform:
Climate experts proposed creating a fleet of cloud-seeding yachts that will pump water vapor into the atmosphere to thicken global cloud cover, thereby reflecting more sunlight, in order to counteract the effects of global warming.
In San Antonio, a 150-pound pet tortoise knocked over a lamp, igniting a mattress fire that spread to a neighbor’s home.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."