Friday, February 16, 2007

"What is Jed Horne reading?"

Jed Horne is the author of Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City.

I asked him what he has been reading. His report:
Per usual, I've got four or five books open at once. Eventually one or another of them breaks into a gallop and carries me over the finish line. Others stumble, shatter bones and have to be put down, a la Barbaro. The roses were awarded last night to Justin Kaplan's When the Astors Owned New York. That leaves time to resume reading Dave Eggers brilliant and disturbing What is the What.

The Astor book is part of a Hudson Valley groove that I've been in recently. It has led me to Apostle of Taste, David Schuyler's excellent life of landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing, and to Tinhorns and Calico about the 19th-century tenant uprising that broke the hold of the patroons. Startling to realize that medieval serfdom among Hudson Valley farmers expired only a few years before slavery was outlawed, if not eliminated, in the South.
Read the results of the Page 69 Test for Jed's Breach of Faith.

--Marshal Zeringue