Please Don't Remain Calm: Provocations and Commentaries

Michael Kinsley, Author
Michael Kinsley, Author . Norton $25.95 (351p) ISBN 978-0-393-06654-8
Reviewed on: 02/18/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-393-06843-6
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Partisan political writing generally enjoys the life expectancy of a weather report, but this collection of Kinsley's trenchant commentary is worth preserving. Kingsley has assembled 127 essays on the American political scene from the Clinton administration to the present. He eschews deep analysis in favor of poking fun at the foibles, evasions, contradictions and hypocrisies of American public figures and the media that feed off them, with occasional detours into his personal life. Inevitably, some pieces show their age, but readers will relish his skewering of the 2000 and 2004 elections. Kinsley is irresistible when he steps back from reporting to pose his trademark provocative—often humorous—questions: Why is it admirable for scientists to love science and businessmen to love business, but political candidates must proclaim how much they hate politics? Is Pat Robertson anti-Semitic or simply nuts? Does President Bush really believe his claim that all Muslims and Jews are going to hell because they don't accept Jesus? While essays from recent years naturally feel more relevant, every essay in this collection sparkles with Kinsley's trademark brand of wit. (Apr.)

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