A favorite blogger writes: "What has happened to all the women who are done with child-rearing? Young voices permeate the blogosphere." What do sixty-something women do with their lives, especially if they do not have full-time jobs? We're here to find that out.
Monday, February 18, 2008
I've been so caught up with the charms of the P******y thing (hoping to forestall further comments from the enthusiastic management) that once I finished Life of Pi (what is there to say about a lifeboat with a 450-lb Bengal tiger aboard that hasn't already been said?) I just grabbed whatever was available from the library display. I didn't stop to consider the timeliness factor in picking 1776 (David McCullough's history of that fateful year) and Team of Rivals (Doris Kearns Goodwin's account of Lincoln's presidency).
I had read John Adams when it first appeared several years ago, and knew of McCullough's wonderful ability to bring history to life. And Goodwin's memoir Wait Til Next Year is one of my all-time favorite books. So my expectations were high.
These books aren't just timely because it happens to be President's Day. They're timely in that they use perfectly chosen detail to remind us and help us understand exactly why these two presidents were truly great. And what they were up against. We think times are tough? Just imagine the stresses of living in 1776, or in 1860. (Or read/listen to the books if you're fuzzy about the particulars.) I found it impossible, as I listened, not to think carefully about the personal qualities and strength of character one might hope to find in a presidential candidate today.