Sunday, May 13, 2007

Catching Up.

So it was Amy Rose, my astute sister-in-law, who finally confronted me over it. What kind of sorry excure for a Blogger am I to not have entered a single Post in over a month and a half? My last one was March 26 -- seven weeks ago. Use it or lose it!! That was the message.

So here I am today, tail between my legs, trying to make amends. Yes, there's been an ocean of water under the bridge since my last Post, lots having to do with me -- good, bad, and indifferent, all mixed together.

Here are a few headlines:

-- On the personal level, yes, my new book Young J. Edgar is finally out, with very respectable pre-pub reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, a nice segment on The Bob Edwards Show on XM radio, good, solid opening events in NYC at the NY Historical Society (James Risen of the NY Times shared the stage with me, a real kick) and in Washington, DC, at the best bookstore around, Politics and Prose. C-Span Booknotes has invited me to tape a segment for "Afterwords," and I'm still waiting to hear from the major book reviews and media. So on all these many fronts, so far so good.

Yes, mine is one of the books tangled up in the Perseus-Avalon-Carroll and Graf denoument that was making big headlines in publishing circles late last week. How it will affect Young J. Edgar, I still don't really know. Best I can tell, it's cause to worry, but not to panic. The new owners seem ready to stand behind it. What will happen next, stay tuned....

-- As for the world at large, there has been politics galore since my last Post, good grist for cynics of all stripes. Yes, Alberto Gonzales is still Attorney General of the USA seven weeks after I last weighed in on it, long after most Washington cognoscenti had pronounced him all washed up. I guess, if you're going to have just one friend in the world, it's good to have it be that fellow in the White House with all the power and the heavy stubborn streak.

My own personal favorite moment in politics over the past month was the one that came during that debate of the ten Republican presidential candidates when Chris Mathews asked if any of them actually did not believe in evolution, and three raised their hands -- including a sitting US Senator and two former governors. It is tempting to make a snide joke here about ignorance in high places. But don't we all feel a wee bit embarrassed as a country that three contenders for the White House would consider it good politics to deny the validity of the last 150 years of science because it contradicts the book of Genesis? Now don't get me wrong. I happen to consider Genesis to be a very fine book, wonderfully written, rich in imagery, bursting with noble themes, and well deserving its first-in-the-Bible status. But in a day and age when jihadists are murdering people over the Koran and religion is dividing the planet into warring tribes, isn't this a good time to stand up for science and secular government? Even Turkey and France seem to get this point better than we do, based on recent events there.

In any event, that's my rant for today. My coffee is cold now, so I'll stop. Don't be a stranger, and I'll try to post more often as well so my sister-in-law Amy will stay off my case over this. Meanwhile, here's to good caffeine. All the best. --KenA

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