Book 2 of 2019: This Town by Mark Leibovich
Once upon a time, I would buy Bob Woodward’s book when it came out. I would read at least three political tomes each year. I lived and breathed politics. And honestly, one of the main purposes of this blog has been to rediscover my love of democracy and to dig into some of my beliefs – in addition to writing about books, movies, and comics.
If you want to read a book that feels like it could have been written about Ancient Rome to tell about our modern political scene, read This Town. Between the number of men who no longer work in journalism due to their sexual harassment to shining a light on the ridiculousness of the right, it all feels like something from a time gone by. A time when America was great.
Today, we live in a world where a video sucks up the airwaves with everyone going to their corners. A shutdown has stymied the government because the President does not like that he does not have universal power. Dozens and dozens of politicians want to run for President. And a media just eats it all up like vultures.
This Town Before the Great Disaster
This book lays out all of the reasons why they do it – and why the current system we have has been a long time coming.
Leibovich, a writer for the New York Times Magazine, chronicles his world. As a mainstay of the Washington press corps, he knows the ins-and-outs and lays it out similar to how Ray Liotta walks through the Copacobana in Goodfellas.
The book begins with Tim Russert’s funeral. And Leibovich lays out the scene. Politicians trying to figure out where they stand before the 2008 election and media figures jockeying to become the new Dean of the press corps.
While reading the book, all I could think was poor fools. They played checkers while nefarious forces and anger took over. They got played by Russia, how media works, and a populace who doesn’t care anymore.
The Hardest Book to Read
I most likely will not read a political book for a while. This hurt. It had everything in it about why I love politics:
For so long, I wanted to work in politics and this book laid out why. Then I remembered the who, what, when, why, and how of today.
I hope Leibovich writes an update. And I may not read it five years after it came out since five years today was 250 years five years ago.