Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Oh, Susan Faludi, I adore you.

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And someday very soon, I will get around to reading The Terror Dream, which I got for Christmas, and have put off reading because I’ve been distracted by Murakami and Elizabeth Hardwick thus far in 2008. Until then, I am very glad you write awesome — and shorter — things like this:

Susan Morrison, the editor of Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary (who’s also the articles editor of The New Yorker, and former editor in chief of this newspaper), defends the absence of political analysis in the book thusly: “There’s plenty of Hillary Studies literature out there that parses the candidate’s stands on policy issues, her Senate votes, and her track record as first lady. This book isn’t aiming at that kind of op-ed territory. Rather, it’s an attempt to look at the ways in which women think about Hillary (and why they think so much about Hillary), how they make their judgments about her, which buttons she pushes in them and why.”

Actually, the op-ed territory is awash with exactly the same sort of trivializing dissection. Hillary Studies pundits are obsessed with the candidate’s hairdos, outfits, cookie-baking comments, supposedly “cold” personality and even, most recently, her failure to apply “The Rules” style of dating in her politics. The ratio of trenchant political commentary to personal pot-shotting on the subject of Hillary Clinton in the larger media realm is precisely echoed in the pages of this book, which seems intended to reprise the op-ed fixations, not to bury them. The result is a good deal of convenient psychologizing, self-absorbed meanderings and unearned snipes—and a handful of efforts to take a respectable step back from how-do-I-personally-feel-about-Hillary thumb-suckery.

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Written by Elizabeth

February 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Posted in The Best Things

Tagged with , ,

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