You Just Have to Read the Book

One of the most heavily pre-advertised political books in years is about to hit the bookstands, Mark Liebovich’s insider take on Washington insiders, This Town.

As I observed back in April when Politico‘s Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei were excitedly anticipating what was being advertised as a savage and satirical attack on everything they stood for, it’s not entirely clear whether This Town is a send-up or an example of the Imperial City’s pathologies. The official WaPo review today by Outlook editor Carlos Lozada leaves that question conspicuously unanswered.

I don’t plan to read This Town unless someone gives me a copy or I feel the need for new targets of bloggy anger. But Lozada’s review did have two highlights from my perspective:

Stoked by Politico, speculation has centered on who will be mentioned and what scores might be settled. For this reason, “This Town” contains no index, making it impossible for bold-face Washingtonians to find their pages, see how they’re depicted, and read no more. “Those players wishing to know how they came out,” the dust jacket warns, “will need to read the book.”

That’s hilarious, until you realize that interns all over Washington will probably be forced to read the damn thing for their employers and dog-ear the appropriate pages. But then there’s this:

[W]hen a national-security official suggested that President Obama shouldn’t skip the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner on the weekend of the Osama Bin Laden raid because the press might get suspicious, Hillary Clinton looked up and issued her verdict: “[Expletive] the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”

My already high estimation of HRC just went up appreciably.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.