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Michael KazinVan Buren, as Widmer wisely concludes, was one of those ''not-quite-heroic'' figures without whom no democracy would operate for long. He didn't achieve greatness, but he set a great insight in spin: without vibrant opposition parties, self-government becomes a mockery of its ideals. For that alone, Little Van deserves to be remembered as a big man indeed.
— The New York Times