Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Five notable presidential thrillers

Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, where he has taught since 1982. He is the author of eight books of nonfiction, writes a column for Bloomberg View, and is a frequent contributor to The Daily Beast and Newsweek.

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, his new alternative-history novel, is now out from Knopf.

One of Carter's five favorite presidential thrillers, as told to The Daily Beast:
The Dead Zone (1979)
by Stephen King

One doesn’t ordinarily include a tale of the supernatural on such a list as this one, but this chilling novel is more than worthy of a place. An accident victim named Johnny Smith wakes from a coma with a skill at premonition. Because he lives in New Hampshire, he decides to meet the presidential candidates who pass through during the primary, shaking their hands and predicting their futures. (The scene in which he meets Jimmy Carter is hilarious.) Smith eventually foresees that a minor member of the House of Representatives will one day be elected president and start a nuclear war. What to do, when nobody else will believe in his powers? An early King, and a fine one.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue