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Newsweek"...combines peerless political anthropology with heartbreaking insight into the complexities of family life and her own struggle with cancer."
—November 21, 2005
Williams also penned a weekly column for the Post's op-ed page and epistolary book reviews for the online magazine Slate. Her essays for these and other publications tackled subjects ranging from politics to parenthood. During the last years of her life, she wrote about her own mortality as she battled liver cancer, using this harrowing experience to illuminate larger points about the nature of power and the randomness of life.
Marjorie Williams was a woman in a man's town, an outsider reporting on the political elite. She was, like the narrator in Randall Jarrell's classic poem, "The Woman at the Washington Zoo," an observer of a strange and exotic culture. This splendid collection — at once insightful, funny and sad — digs into the psyche of the nation's capital, revealing not only the hidden selves of the people that run it, but the messy lives that the rest of us lead.
|Protocol (Archie and Lucky Roosevelt)||3|
|The philanthropist (Gwendolyn Cafritz)||12|
|The pragmatist (Richard Darman)||30|
|The wife (Barbara Bush)||55|
|The rainmaker (Vernon Jordan)||77|
|The hack (Tony Coelho)||99|
|The sibling (Jeb Bush)||118|
|Scenes from a marriage (Bill Clinton and Al Gore)||132|
|Makeup and Ms.||155|
|Reader, I married||160|
|Why character matters in politics||170|
|Thank you, Clarence Thomas||181|
|The princess puzzle||185|
|Bill Clinton, feminist||220|
|Why parents still matter||234|
|Flying to L.A.||240|
|A second thought on assisted suicide||248|
|The cat race||250|
|The parent rap||256|
|The art of the fake apology||259|
|Dying for dollars||265|
|Do parents suffer discrimination?||268|
|The political wife, RIP||271|
|The widow's mandate||274|
|Uriah Heep goes to Washington||277|
|Run for your life||280|
|A woman's place is at the bar||289|
|Mommy at her desk||292|
|The heart-full dodger||298|
|A working mom's comedy||300|
|A woman who knew her due||302|
|Pt. 3||Time and chance|
|Hit by lightning : a cancer memoir||307|
|Telling the real, real truth||340|
|The random death of our sense of ease||343|
|The doctor factor||346|
|The Halloween of my dreams||349|
Posted October 17, 2012
I began this book after reading Courtney Sullivan's recommendation in the NY Times. To my surprise, I had already read some of the pieces when they first appeared in the Washington Post. Not only were they equally relevant and entertaining the second time around; they are truly timeless, even though some of the political profiles are largely forgotten, and this (alas) is again an election year.
Washington in many ways is a city with a short memory, but Marjorie Williams deserves to be remembered. She was a non-partisan truth-teller and she wrote like an angel. This book should be required reading for a curriculum that may yet to be designed. -- catwak
Posted February 12, 2009
Having been an admirer of writer Marjorie Williams from articles written for Vanity Fair, I was intrigued when I came across the book. Immediately you are drawn into the events and people being observed and discussed. The information was not old drudged up stories being hung out again, the insight instead was fresh and thoughtful. The personal reflections were delivered with a style honest and captivating. While you get no hint of how remarkable this woman was from her own writings, you put the book down when finished knowing you have seen another human being's soul, and found it good.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 28, 2010
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