News Archives

March, 2010

Talking about The Hawk and the Dove for an hour

Monday, March 29th, 2010

I had a fascinating hour-long conversation a little while back with Marshall Poe, which he has now posted on his site: New Books in History.

Supreme Power

Monday, March 29th, 2010
FDR: MPI/Getty

FDR: MPI/Getty

I just got a copy of Jeff Shesol’s new book Supreme Power, an investigation into FDR’s efforts to pack the Supreme Court in 1937. (You can read a rave review from the NYT here.) Shesol’s previous book, Mutual Contempt, about the relationship between LBJ and RFK, was terrific and I used it as one of the structural models for The Hawk and the Dove, studying it whenever I needed to figure out a new way to pass the narrative baton from one character to another. The court-packing episode was important to Nitze too. He grew up a Republican, but switched to the Democratic Party in the 1930s. When Roosevelt tried to monkey with the judiciary, Nitze rejoined the GOP; but then he switched out again soon thereafter—setting a pattern that would last his lifetime.

Speaking at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Here is footage from a talk I gave about the book in Madison. My favorite story from this event is that one of the people in the audience walked out during the introduction and huffed, “I thought we were going to hear Nietzsche’s grandson.”