Pols: Great Writers on American Politicians from Bryan to Reagan
In 'Pols', Jack Beatty presents a writer's portrait gallery of America's most famous and infamous politicians. Whether it's John Dos Passos' brilliant six-page treatment of the life of Theodore Roosevelt, H.L. Mencken on Warren Harding's vapid orotundity, Richard Hofstadter on Herbert Hoover's cult of the individual, Hodding Carter on the terrifying rise of Huey Long, Robert A. Caro on the lonely integrity of Sam Rayburn, Fred Greenstein on the subtle wisdom of Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Rovere on Joe McCarthy the liar, Mike Royko on a day in the life of Richard M. Daley, Lou Cannon on Ronald Reagan's use of humor, or James Fallows on the passionless presidency of Jimmy Carter, these and other classic pieces come at the American breed of politicians from every sort of angle. Particularly at the height of this political season, it's both edifying and a joy to read some of America's greatest political biographers on a century of its most notable politicians. The writers in 'Pols' show us the American politician in all their stripes - cowardly and brave, charismatic and enigmatic, in charge and lost at sea. 'Pols', a brilliant collection for the bookshelf or nightstand of any political junkie or fan of good writing, is a literary investigation into American political history at its earthiest and its most high flown.