Monday, May 26, 2008

BvB Reading List: 5/26

  • My new New York Review of Books arrived on Friday. Gotta say that even in the age of the web, the print version remains a great pleasure. Highlight? Michael Tomasky takes on three books about John McCain in this article. Zinger? Tomasky's acidic observation on the media's love affair with McCain: "The image of the straight-talking maverick who bled in a cell while Baby Boomers indulged themselves is just too hard-wired into their systems."
  • The McCain book that Tomasky liked best is Reason editor Matt Welch's McCain: The Myth of a Maverick. (Buy here.) Also up at Reason's Hit and Run blog are highly diverting accounts and analysis of the Libertarian Party convention, which nominated Bob Barr to be its candidate yesterday. Candidate Barr is going to play a big role in the fall, I think. He may get to the threshold of support needed to be invited to the debates. And that would mean fireworks.
  • As I'm revving up to write the next play, a one-act on politics, I've been reading a lot of Ödön von Horváth, who was, after Bertolt Brecht, the most important German playwright of the 20th Century. His work is sharp and subtle, and if I can capture some of that in a play about the Democratic primary, I'll be really happy. Not much of him available readily in translation: for starters, I'd try this collection of four of his best plays, including Tales from the Vienna Woods, Italian Night, Faith, Love and Hope, and Kasimir and Karoline.

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