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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Bookshelf Speaks Volumes

posted by on June 10 at 12:00 PM

Over at the Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg has an interview with McCain on the Middle East. Parts of it are completely terrifying when you consider they’re coming from someone who wants to be president:

JG: What do you think motivates Iran?

JM: Hatred. I don’t try to divine people’s motives. I look at their actions and what they say.

Also, the part where he comes out solidly against genocide, but only if it’s a fight that we can win, is pretty illuminating.

But since I’m the book guy, here’s what caught my attention:

JG: A final question: Senator Obama talked about how his life was influenced by Jewish writers, Philip Roth, Leon Uris. How about you?

JM: There’s Elie Wiesel, and Victor Frankl. I think about Frankl all the time. “Man’s Search for Meaning” is one of the most profound things I’ve ever read in my life. And maybe on a little lighter note, “War and Remembrance” and “Winds of War” are my two absolute favorite books. I can tell you that one of my life’s ambitions is to meet Herman Wouk. “War and Remembrance” for me, it’s the whole thing.

Then there’s Joe Lieberman, who lives a life of his religion, and who does it in the most humble way.

JG: Not a big Philip Roth fan?

JM: No, I’m not. Leon Uris I enjoyed.

First of all, and not just from this interview: I get the sense that McCain is seriously considering Lieberman for vice president. Second of all: Leon Uris over Phillip Roth? Talk about an old man’s taste for books…

RSS icon Comments


Well we're talking about an old man. I'm surprised he didn't say Shakespear, since they went to school together.

Posted by monkey | June 10, 2008 12:05 PM

I haven't read much (any?) Philip Roth, but isn't he, himself, an old man? Older even than McCain? Yes, yes he is.

Posted by Levislade | June 10, 2008 12:08 PM

Hey... at least he can read (and rattle off a couple of fairly obscure authors on demand)... If nothing else, that would be an improvement over Bush.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 10, 2008 12:13 PM

What about the fact that For Whom The Bell Tolls is his favorite book because Jordan keeps fighting even though he is doomed? He loves the "'beautiful fatalism' of noble lost causes" (
Hello Iraq War

Posted by sean | June 10, 2008 12:17 PM

I didn't realize that Lieberman is a writer.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 10, 2008 12:18 PM

what? nothing by Jackie Mason?!?!?

oy gevalt!

Posted by michael strangeways | June 10, 2008 12:22 PM

Let's compare and contrast:

Leon Uris: A persecuted people fight extermination to form their own country.
Philip Roth: Using his sister's bra for inspiration, a horny teenager rubs his dong with a piece of liver that subsequently becomes the family dinner.

Posted by Port Noy | June 10, 2008 12:52 PM

Have you ever looked at him on HDTV up close?

The guy is even older than Reagan when he left office ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 10, 2008 1:23 PM

Reading books is for elitists.

Posted by flamingbanjo | June 10, 2008 2:24 PM

I'm still waiting for the candidate who says "Jean Genet, and Celine, and Sam Beckett -- the novels, of course, not the plays".

Posted by Fnarf | June 10, 2008 3:03 PM

"I get the sense that McCain is seriously considering Lieberman for vice president."
God let's hope so. St. McCain the Doddering Crank and Holy Joe the Sanctimonious Tool. Barack in a landslide!

Posted by bobbo | June 10, 2008 4:36 PM

"I get the sense that McCain is seriously considering Lieberman for vice president."

Please please please! Do you know how much I want a Col. Tigh / Senator Palpatine ticket?

Posted by Patrick | June 10, 2008 9:17 PM

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