Thursday, November 10, 2011

Book of the Month, November 2011

I love books. They're fun, educational, and they keep trees from getting too confident.

Over the last several weeks I've been ragging pretty hard on George Clooney's "The Ides of March," which missed a golden opportunity to comment on modern politics. Instead, it told us stuff most of us have known for years.

That got me thinking: Is there any work that would satisfy the political junkie in an original way?

Written nearly 40 years ago, Timothy Crouse's "The Boys on the Bus" profiles the pool of reporters who followed the 1972 presidential campaign. Not only is it a terrific, spirited read, but it shows that long before the presence of the Gannett template and spin artists, that there's a template in how news is reported and delivered, especially in a group environment.

Also, Crouse does a wonderful job in writing about the reporters as professionals and people. That's where the book really resonated with me. It gave me a human element behind the dog-and-pony show that is the campaign trail. That kind of insight was sorely missing from Clooney's misfire.

That's it for now. Until next month, read in peace.

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