Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Two Fabulous Holiday Choices: Jim Newton's Book On Warren, and John Grisham's "An Innocent Man."

I've been reading two tremendous books, both of which I can recommend without reservation.

These are L.A. Times editor Jim Newton's biography of Earl Warren, and John Grisham's best-selling book, "An Innocent Man," Grisham's first effort at non fiction.

Newton has done a superb job. His book on Warren is a volume of real scholarship, and very fair to both Warren's greatness, such as exemplified by the Supreme Court's school integration and criminal law decisions, and his occasional mistakes, such as his World War II support of internment of Japanese citizens of California.

The book is particularly good also on Warren's associations with such figures as Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Nixon, not to mention his California political career and associations. I think this is a tour de force, probably the most lively book on the American Supreme Court and California politics I've ever read.

It is not a dry book. It is filled with tremendous reporting and analysis. If the Tribune Co. should really destroy the L.A. Times, unfortunately a real possibility, Newton can go on to a full time career as an author. I look forward to hearing what his next subject will be.

Grisham's book about Oklahoma murder cases, and specifically the framing by corrupt police and a district attorney, not to mention inept investigators, of two innocent men, for a murder they had nothing to do with, is absolutely spine tingling, and is now the top best seller on the New York Times' hard cover list.

I was therefore taken aback last Sunday when the NYT review of the book, by Edward Lewine was so negative.

There are some reviewers, like some journalists, who should shut up, because they have nothing constructive to say.

Lewine's suggestion in the review that Grisham should have embroidered the tale rather than stick to the facts was not only dishonorable but unnecessary. This book is fascinating as it is, and Grisham has given us a tale which is a stark warning of the shortcomings of our criminal justice system.

Good Christmas or Hanukkah presents! Both of these books fit the bill.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, goes from one disgrace to another. His latest promise that Israel will be "wiped from the map" puts him squarely on the side of Hitler and other Nazis. The conference he is staging this week questioning whether the Holocaust ever happened, betrays his own plan for another Holocaust.

This is the man that James Baker and his foolish commission want the United States to negotiate with, when, in fact, we should be working to remove him and his ilk from Iran and the entire Middle East.

Among those attending this week's conference is David Duke, the American Ku Klux Klansman. In consorting with the enemy, Duke proves once again he is a traitor to American democracy. Since he likes Iran, he ought to stay there.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home