Mother Knows Best
To the Editor:
If I were to compile a list of currently active literati whose writing will always grab my attention, high in the rankings would be Christopher Buckley, Anne Fadiman, Michael Kinsley — and James Wolcott. I greatly enjoyed Wolcott’s evisceration of Ivana Trump’s “Raising Trump” and Jerry Oppenheimer’s “The Kardashians” (Nov. 19). However, in the concluding paragraph, Wolcott writes of the unrelenting media attention paid to the various subsidiary Trumps and Kardashians, “Please, stop…. Why keep feeding their ravenous egos?” An excellent question. But Wolcott is too sharp not to recognize the irony of such a question appearing in a critique that was awarded front-loaded pride of place in The New York Times Book Review. Did the aforementioned books, dealing with such frivolous subject matter, really merit such prominence? This in-the-center-ring prominence inevitably shoveled more coal into the Trump/Kardashian ravenous-ego furnace. Which was hardly in need of being stoked.
To the Editor:
Reviewing “Fractured Continent” by William Drozdiak (Nov. 12), Sheri Berman poses a question: “How did the unified, peaceful Europe of the late 20th century turn into the fractured, discordant continent of the early 21st?” I believe the single most consequential factor was the decision by the Bush administration to respond to the 9/11 attack as Osama bin Laden dreamed they would: to wage a war against Islam by invading Iraq and Afghanistan. This has produced exactly the opposite of what was intended in the declared “war on terror” — only more terrorism.