Saturday, October 20, 2007

Brian Williams' favorite "portraits of Americans"

NBC News anchor Brian Williams named his five favorite portraits of Americans for Opinion Journal.

One title on the list:
The Life and Times of a Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson (Broadway, 2006).

Bill Bryson has done a better job of capturing the post-World War II era than any sociological work I can think of. And this memoir of his Iowa boyhood years -- the TV, the movies, the food (leftovers were essential) -- is far, far funnier. It was the era when, as Bryson writes, every week brought exciting news of things becoming better, swifter, more convenient. And nothing was too preposterous to try. Not long after I began reading the book (a gift from my wife) on a flight to Iraq, I was laughing so hard that I started heaving and weeping in my seat. I'm quite sure the flight attendants briefly considered turning the plane around. "The Life and Times of a Thunderbolt Kid" is more than just a break from combat, politics and global strife: It is sheer joy.
Read more about Williams' list.

--Marshal Zeringue