Author Peter Elkind, entranced by "the chasm between public image and private reality" (page vii), follows Eliot Spitzer's rapid rise and faster fall. He's the two-faced politician at its finest. Public Eliot was a beacon of justice, the scrappy David taking down the Goliaths of Wall Street, the insurance industry, and yes, even prostitution—all while Private Eliot deceived his wife, advisers, and the people he served by sneaking off to rendezvous with $1,000-an-hour escorts.
David Remnick weaves together the story of Barack Obama's rootless youth, increasingly rigorous studies, eventual grounding in Chicago, and rapid-fire series of four long-shot elections (five, if you count Harvard Law Review). Remnick's deep digressions into the history of the civil-rights movement and of political corruption in Chicago elevate Obama's story to one of fate.
Starting PointWhen the Olympic torch passed through Juneau, Alaska, in 2002, 18-year-old Joseph Frederick saw a chance at TV airtime. His tactic: a banner reading BONG HITS 4 JESUS.
Starting PointWhile campaigning in 1992, Bill Clinton criticizes rapper and activist Sister Souljah for her "racist" remarks following the L.A. riots. "If black people kill black people every day," she'd said, "why not have a week and kill white people?" Fever PitchJesse Jackson and allies accuse Clinton of political opportunism, and Souljah calls him a draft-dodging, pot-smoking racist.
It may not be fodder for dinner discussion. Or book clubs. Or, come to think of it, polite conversation of any kind. But journalist Rose George, author of "The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters," was undaunted, delving deep into the history and implications of a daily act that dare not speak its name.
Before Virginia Tech, before Columbine, there was Simon's Rock.Late on the evening of Dec. 14, 1992, Wayne Lo, an 18-year-old student at Simon's Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Mass., approached a security-guard shack on the campus and began shooting, as he says now, "at anything that moved." Lo fired at least nine rounds during the following 20 minutes, killing another student and a Spanish professor and wounding four others.A gifted violinist who had moved with his family from...
CAPTAIN AMERICA IS DEAD. It's a powerful headline, even for those who have never picked up a Marvel comic book and don't know "The Sentinel of Liberty" from "The Scarlet Swashbuckler." Fans and novices alike have been struck by the poignancy of the image on the pages of the comic book, released Wednesday: a patriotic do-gooder with a bullet piercing his burly, red-white-and-blue torso.Sure, he's just a made-up character.