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3 February 2006

Follow-up to the previous post

Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic, writes in support of Levy, trying to take Keillor to task for the NYT Book Review piece.

So what in the world possessed The New York Times Book Review
to ask Garrison Keillor to review L

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2 Responses to “Follow-up to the previous post”

  1. Matt Says:

    The print confrontation of Levy and Keillor is a bit like a staring contest between two blind men. (GK gets the prize, though, for inspiring belly laughs.) Yet one thing that may be worth noting is that Levy’s book partakes of a nostalgia-and-nonsense mongering quite similar to that of Keillor. Tocqueville was a smarter-than-average aristocrat, but the myth that he somehow decoded democracy (or, worse yet, that he said something about the United States that continues to bear sociological or political relevance) is long overdue for a plot in Pere Lachaise. “Thoughtful” Americans turn to Tocqueville for the same reason they turn to Keillor: to get a digestable and comforting version of themselves and “their country” (whatever that might mean in the age of the U.S. pseudo-imperial death machine). So the NYTBR piece strikes me as less a bird reviewing an ornithologist than as a counterpunch by somebody in the same business: peddling plastic.

  2. andrew Says:

    i have to admit that I’m pretty baffled by the negative response to the book… I haven’t read it… but I did read each and every piece in the Atlantic, and found myself looking forward to each upcoming installment. I have nothing deep or insightful to say about the quality of the work, or the legitimacy of the author’s position in commenting on America… but I’ve also never been a huge Tocqueville fan (at least not Democracy in America – the seperate book on the prison system is far more interesting in my esteem, but that could be because of what my dissertation is about).

    Keillor? nice guy. red socks are always fun. But I’m afraid the “middlebrow” comment is spot on. He and Terry Gross are a match made in heaven, if you ask me. Which makes me wonder, is there a fresh air interview with BHL?