July 12, 2005


Is it some sort of rule nowadays that subtitles on books need to be wildly overblown? Every day a new volume comes out describing how some unknown event or group "saved civilization" or "changed the world" or even "saved the world." (Real titles include: Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World. And A True History of How Pugs Saved Civilization.) And now the Washington Monthly is reviewing Charles Peters' new book: "Five Days in Philadelphia: The Amazing 'We Want Wilkie!' Convention of 1940 and How it Freed FDR to Save the Western World." Ohmigod! Obviously there's an arms race going on here, but if all I did was hang out in bookstores, I'd think this whole "civilization" thing was pretty flimsy, what with it needing saving by cods and pugs and minor politicians all the time.

Is it really the case that no one will buy a book called: "Dwayne: The man who didn't do anything ABSOLUTELY PIVOTAL in world-historic terms but has kind of an interesting life story anyway"? Clearly it's time for detente. Or even better, a cap-and-trade regime on claims to have saved the world.
-- Brad Plumer 1:53 PM || ||