At the Huffington Post Glynnis Macnicol, editor at FishbowlNY.com, polls a number of notables (including Salman Rushdie, Fred Armisen and Ana Marie Cox) about their favorite recent reading. Jon Meacham, editor-in-chief of Newsweek (and author of the recent biography of Andrew Jackson, American Lion) chooses Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland which he describes as “brilliant and fun.” (An opinion shared by Ms. Macnicol who calls the book “thoroughly fabulous.”) Peggy Noonan turns out to be a fan of Duff Cooper’s diaries, but the list overall leans toward the current-events side.
It was not that surprising, I guess, that none of those surveyed by Ms. Macnicol mentioned James Rosen’s The Strong Man, but I did hope to see it listed when I examined the American Spectator’s annual “Books For Christmas” selections. But such wasn’t the case. However, the volumes suggested by TAS’s distinguished group of recommenders include many good titles in the history field. Conrad Black, Jonathan Aitken, and Michael Barone all speak highly of Andrew Roberts’s Masters And Commanders: How Roosevelt, Churchill, Marshall and Alanbrooke Won The War In The West. Aitken and Barone also commend Daniel Walker Howe’s What God Hath Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848. And Jonathan Aitken, author of an excellent one-volume biography of Richard Nixon, gives his approval to Lord Black’s Richard Nixon: A Life In Full.
The surprise figure in the group choosing books for TAS readers is S. Joseph Wurzelbacher of Ohio, with whom America became familiar this fall. Three of the four books Joe The Plumber selects pertain to his chosen profession; the fourth is Ludwig von Mises’s 500-page Theory Of Money And Credit. It makes you wish that the conversation with the President-elect that shot Joe to fame had lasted just a little longer.