Monday, February 18, 2008

Recommended: Novak's Prince of Darkness

I just finished syndicated columnist Robert Novak's memoir, Prince of Darkness. It is a great read.

As one might expect of most memoirs, this one is opinionated and, at times, self-serving. Mr. Novak certainly manages to settle some old scores, even while admitting some mistakes of his own. That being said, it makes for lively reading, and I very much enjoyed his retelling of the various events that he reported on over the last half century.

I also enjoyed Mr. Novak's description of the goals of the column he started with the late Rowland Evans and now continues as a solo endeavor. They set out to do real reporting and break news in every column. This differs markedly from many of the pundits who nowadays try to pass themselves off as opinion journalists. As opinion has moved more blatantly into the news sections of the paper, those who write columns have all too often excused themselves from any actual fact gathering at all. While it is true that through the years Mr. Novak has been criticized for spreading gossip, at the very least he has actually gotten out there and done real reporting. Frequently, he has accomplished much more.

While conservatives would enjoy this memoir more than those on the left, I would think that it could be appreciated by many political junkies on both sides of the aisle.

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