The Talk of 'This Town'
“This Town” by Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, has finally arrived, preceded by the kind of buzz the author would appreciate, since buzz, D.C. style, is one of the big subjects of this book, a florid, razzy, snarky, funny, book which is, and we’re guessing, probably sharply accurate like a poke in the eye, followed by a stinger (the drink).
We haven’t finished our copy, which arrived in the mail from the publisher so fast, we thought we heard the skid marks being made. There’s been quite a bit of hype and glory attached to this work already -- so much so you feel as if you’ve already read it before opening the book.
But by God, give the guy credit -- it’s a cannot-put downer full of attitude, big and little names and the confusion between them in this town, where the gap between politics, lobbying, celebrity and deity, real power and pretend power is practically non existent. The subtitle tells it all: “Two parties, a funeral -- plus plenty of valet parking -- in America’s gilded capital.” The funerals (Tim Russert’s and Ted Kennedy’s among them) and the parties (those thrown by the redoubtable Tammy Haddad ) frame a portrait of a kind of Washington merry-go-round post Drew Pearson, where riders hug the horses and each other closely, some of them falling off, others jumping on.
Most refreshing of all in this account of insiders is that Leibovitch is himself part of that round-and-round ride which only adds flavor to the book.