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Posted July 24, 2011
Robert Coover's "The Public Burning" is set around the 1953 execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Told largely from the perspective of a plotting, delusional, emotional, and remarkably human Richard Nixon, then Vice-President of the United States, the novel pulls in innumerable pop culture references (like Uncle Sam, Betty Crocker, the Marx Brothers, etc.) and even interweaves segments of original writings from the era (like Time Magazine) to striking effect. Undoubtedly, you'll need to reread the book a few times in order to fully appreciate the richness of Coover's text and to marvel at the complex and sympathetic portrait of Nixon that develops throughout the text. "The Public Burning" is a postmodern treatise on the chaos and madness that rest in the heart of American political power; in the wake of the Clinton sex scandal and the increasingly sordid scandals facing America's politicians, the novel is more relevant than ever.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.