Philip Hamburger, president-watcher and Reporter at Large for The New Yorker, at last collects his pieces on a beat he’s made his own—Washington inaugurations, from FDR to Clinton. This collection of essays, chosen by the author from his sixty years of writing for The New Yorker, chronicles not only the people of our nation’s political life (Judge Learned Hand, Fiorello La Guardia, Dean Acheson, FDR, Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton) but also the places and events, with special emphasis on presidential inaugurations (he has attended, he thinks, fourteen). Here is one man’s view, both funny and serious, of the glorious diversity of American politics—and of the better angels of our nature.
Matters of State
A Political Excursion
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"Elegantly sparse, immensely amusing, modestly insightful, this is simply superb writing. Any reader with an interest in politics past or present will enjoy indulging in this little volume." —Publishers Weekly
PHILIP HAMBURGER was a writer for The New Yorker for over sixty years. He died in 2004.
“Hamburger has been covering the American political scene for the New Yorker since 1939; and in this collection of 26 finely crafted essays from that magazine and a few other sources, he captures both the changing nature of that scene and its unchanging essence of democratic stability… Elegantly sparse, immensely amusing, modestly insightful, this is simply superb writing. Any reader with an interest in politics past or present will enjoy indulging in this little volume.” —Publishers Weekly
“Some of these pieces are chatty and conversational; others, dense with facts and interpretation. Together, they offer an interesting perspective on politics and culture.” —Booklist