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Wednesday, 23 September 2009


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Jonathan Mayhew

It's hard to imagine that anything written 100 years ago won't sound "dated," of its own time rather than ours.

Stacy Vye

"I don’t know why all the entries Laura Miller mentioned in her review are available online, but given that Marcus and Paglia also write for Salon, it’s more likely a matter of behind-the-scenes cooperation than those-are-the-only-ones-Miller-read."

Um, this statement is manifestly inaccurate.

Luther Blissett

I dunno. While the style of Markham's writing has that old-school Progressive Era charm to it, I find the substance entirely in keeping with current concerns. The historical novel remains the dominant middle-to-high literary form in American writing, and romance as a mode of historiography is the dominant mode. I found it rather prophetic, actually.

In any case, this Marcus/Sollors collection -- beyond the thrill that this book was assembled by these two wonderful writers and scholars -- totally excited me. My only concern is that they included Obama as an entry, and that immediately dates it. The idea that the Obama presidency is the start of something new (which is the unifying thread throughout the entries) is short-sighted and, so far, palpably untrue. If anything, Dubya ran an entirely new form of presidency. Obama is trying, and failing, to run some bastard child of Kennedy's and FDR's regimes.


G.W.Bubya ran a new form of Presidency inasmuch as he's best judged in measures of decline.

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