Several years ago, I attended an average lecture by an average left-wing college professor about his average book about the anything-but-average George Washington.
“It’s not my fault. So you can’t blame me.” No disclaimer is more suspect than this, the first line of Toni Morrison’s new novel “God Help the Child.” It’s the mantra of Sweetness, the light-skinned black mother of a midnight-dark daughter. “She embarrassed me,” she explains. She fantasized about killing her, but decided instead to be “strict, very strict.”
If there has ever been a writer whose works speak for themselves — and for him — it is Mark Twain, and nowhere in his oeuvre is that as apparent as in his prodigious travel writings.
Should I feign surprise? Decades after communism collapsed into rubble, the blame-America crowd — ah, those “intellectuals” — remains determined to blame the Cold War on President Harry S. Truman and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill.
Even though the United States fought the British in part over the supremacy of dynastic rule, American voters have been more than willing to elect multiple members of the same family to high office. While no Roosevelts have held office for some time, the family continues to cast a long shadow. They, along with the Adams, Bush and Harrison families, are the only ones to have each produced two presidents
“Seminal” is not a word that fits many books, but it fits this one, for “American Beliefs” is both creative and original. It rests on a simple conclusion: This nation became one different from all others because of the nature of its earliest arrivals from Europe.
Lascivious old men of the world, unite. You have a new champion. Ever since becoming as well-known to AARP and Social Security as he is to his many readers, 77-year-old Jim Harrison, one of the finest American writers of the last half-century, has been featuring male protagonists who are past maturity, or, to be downright factual, old. And yet their amatory accomplishments are the stuff of young men’s dreams.