I’ll say it again: Go see Lincoln.
Here’s an interesting read on the film, from Sarah Binder of George Washington University. I enjoyed the scenes in the House, and I do love how…how raucous debate was. This was good stuff – not the smoke and mirrors of contemporary political debate or empty suits repeating talking points, but really smart people having an intense discussion about important issues, keenly aware of their place in history.
This might end up being a weekly feature as well, at least during the summer months.
Now that the diss is in the can, I find myself able to read for my own edification/amusement much more. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share what’s been on my bookshelf in the past few weeks.
Scholarly: Schoenberg’s Musical Imagination by Michael Cherlin. I’ll have more on this in an upcoming Theory Thursday.
Nonfiction: Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861 by Harold Holzer. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big antebellum history and Civil War buff. (I joke that I should be a Whig, as I’m in favor of the tariff and internal improvements.) This book examines in more detail the Cabinet-building that Doris Kearns Goodwin explored in Team of Rivals, and also explores how he had to balance what people were expecting him to do versus the fact that he had no real power until March 4. It’s a solid tome, and if you enjoy this period in history I’d say it’s indispensable.
Fiction: Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis. It’s frightening how relevant this book still is. At least it ends with a quiet rebellion against the forces of conformity and small-mindedness.