Monday, July 17, 2006

Chris Nolan on "Catch-22"

I checked in with Chris Nolan of "Spot-On" for a title for our series on what's at stake in the debate over habeas corpus. While not precisely relevant to the topic, as she notes, her suggestion engaged the spirit of the issue.

Moreover, her enthusiasm for a modern classic begged to be shared here:
My absolute all-time-book about government and how it can't be trusted and why you gotta keep on your toes at all times by being an involved committed citizen?

Joseph Heller's Catch-22 in which the crazy people love war but are considered sane and the sane people hate war and are considered insane. Not to mention all the profiteering, horrible bureaucracy and well, the true horrible sadness of the human condition (even without war) among those in the Army and the citizens they encounter as they wage war.

I'm not so sure that's related to habeas corpus--unless you count (as I'm sure Yossarian would) having a free mind as the most important aspect of any legal or social system. But it's my favorite book of all time. I've read it at least twice and my paperback copy is in shreds--gotta get a new one!
Chris Nolan is the founder and editor of "Spot-On," "your home for an independent, intelligent and insightful look at politics and current events." Her most recent column at the site takes up the "U.S. Senate debate on measures designed to expand federally funded research with the use of embryonic stem cells."

Nolan's work has appeared in the Washington Post, The New Republic, Fortune, Business 2.0 and Conde Nast Traveler and public radio's Marketplace. She is not the director of Memento.

--Marshal Zeringue