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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Must read! Must see!

Oh, what to do on rainy and blustery days in New England?

Well, there are great things to read and watch.

My reading began with a cup of coffee and the latest issue of the New York Review of Books. It contains a terrific piece by Garry Wills showing how pervasive evangelicalism is in the Bush administration -- a clear example of the masterful use of patronage personnel policies with implications that go well beyond policymaking. Wills makes the case that the federal government is now engaged in a broad range of "faith-based" initiates -- faith-based social services, faith-based, justice, faith-based science/health, and faith-based war. A brilliant and scary bit of political analysis....

Having moved on from coffee, and between loads of laundry and various e-mail exchanges, I picked up the remote and worked my way around to C-SPAN 2 where Andrew Sullivan and David Brooks were engaged in a lively discussion about Sullivan's most recent book (The Conservative Soul) in front of an audience at the libertarian-focused CATO Institute.

This was without doubt one of the most interesting exchanges I've seen among conservatives, and within the hour I ordered the book in question along with Sullivan's earlier work, Virtually Normal.

If only I can be so lucky each time I turn on the boob tube!

Time passes. The rain is gone, the sun is out -- and the winds are gusting up to 60 mph. Seems like another cup of coffee and the Sunday NY Times are in order before I venture out....

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Comments on "Must read! Must see!"


Blogger meditations71 said ... (2:36 PM) : 

The New York Review of Books is still one of my favourite reads. Did you see the recent article by Freeman Dyson on modern science ( Very nice stuff.


Blogger Mel said ... (7:42 AM) : 

A great -- and time consuming -- read indeed. Some (actually many) of the pieces in NYRB go unread because of the misfit between time and content -- it takes the two weeks between issues to actually completely consume the beast! Luckily, it is often easy to pick out which pieces are perishable and need to be read right away, and which have longer "shelf life". The Dyson article is "on the shelf" for now, and your earlier post on it keeps it near the top of the pile.... Thanks for the reminder, Stefan....

By the way, nice interview with Robert Silvers, editor of NYRB at


Blogger meditations71 said ... (10:53 AM) : 

I was not reading very carefully when responding to your post...

The Willis piece (which I just recently got to, and blogged briefly on) is a fantastic exposé of at least one important driver of the current administration politics (I'm aware of the danger inherent in making too much of the Christian Evangelical element alone in terms of understanding this administration's aims).

It was indeed quite 'revelatory'!


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