Monday, February 26, 2007

"It Can Happen Here"

Joe Conason writes for and has written a popular political column for The New York Observer since 1992. He is the author of Big Lies, The Raw Deal, and, with Gene Lyons, The Hunting of the President.

His new book, released last week, is It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush.

Joe applied the "page 69 test" to It Can Happen Here and reported the following:
On page 69 of It Can Happen Here, the immediate topic is John Ashcroft -- and in certain respects yes, these four or five paragraphs are indeed reflective of my new book's subject and style. The section on Ashcroft sets the former Attorney General's assault on the Constitution in a broader and deeper context, while dishing some fascinating facts about him that few readers are likely to know. (He sponsored no fewer than eleven -- that's right, 11 -- constitutional amendments during his brief tenure as a United States Senator, including one that would have made it easier to amend the Constitution. And he had his late father anoint him with holy oil, like the Hebrew kings, as part of a special ceremony to prepare him for public office. One evening when they couldn't find holy oil, they used a bottle of Crisco oil.)

Of course the story continues on toward the present, with Ashcroft giving way to Alberto Gonzales, and much more. As a glimpse into the threats that have endangered our liberty, and the authoritarian ideologies underlying those threats, page 69 wouldn't be a bad place to fall into the story -- except that you would have missed Chapter One, which explains why we may be on the brink of war with Iran....
Read a synopsis and an excerpt from It Can Happen Here.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.