THE PROPHET OF LOVE: And Other Tales of Power and Deceit

Elizabeth Kolbert, Author . Bloomsbury $23.95 (275p) ISBN 978-1-58234-463-8

New Yorker staff writer Kolbert's collection of graceful and perceptive articles focusing on New York public figures reminds us how much has changed since the late 1990s. Part one, titled "Politics," includes a piece on Hillary Clinton, "Running on Empathy," reflecting the animosity that many felt for the carpetbagging former First Lady when she entered the New York State senate race. Kolbert atones later in "The Student," about Clinton as a hardworking senator. Kolbert is at her best in the timeless articles she penned in the aftermath of 9/11 about Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Fire Chief William Feehan, who died as a result of the attacks. In her introduction, Kolbert notes that "political life is often indistinguishable from nonsense," and proves it in her illuminating account of Mark Green's losing mayoral campaign (about his primary win, she writes, "Between the fawning and the gloating, the self-promotion and the perfunctory humility, victory celebrations are rarely tasteful affairs"). In part two, "Impolitics," she trains her considerable intelligence and wit on such New York notables as TV host Regis Philbin, former Times executive editor Howell Raines and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Anyone interested in power and personalities in present-day New York will be well pleased. Agent, Kathy Robbins. (May 14)

FYI: All but one of these articles first appeared in the New Yorker.

Reviewed on: 04/12/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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