The category of “political short story” is a deliberately loose one, for not many writers have hands-on experience of the world of politics. The authors here might have described their stories as being about people, rather than politics. And so the collection is wonderfully diverse, ranging from Joyce’s evocation of tarnished ideals and a fallen hero in “Ivy Day in the Committee Room” to Jack London’s vivid fantasy of a general strike across the United States in “The Dream of Debs,” to Mark Twain’s dark satire of the venality of political life in “The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg.” If there are few genuine heroes in the stories Mr. Archer has selected, perhaps that is an accurate reflection of the real world. In any case, this generally dark view of politics has a silver lining: for as readers of Milton’s Paradise Lost discovered long ago, the doings of a charismatic villain make for more interesting reading than the deeds of a virtuous man.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
The Oxford Educated former politician and internationally bestselling novelist Jeffrey Archer served five years in Britain’s House of Commons and 22 years in the House of Lords. Perhaps best known for his Clifton Chronicles, an intergenerational saga that traces the trials and tribulations of the Clifton family, he is also the author of a number of other bestselling books and short story collections. The Los Angeles Times called him "one of the top ten storytellers in the world." The final volume in the Chronicles, This Was a Man appears this fall.
Hometown:London and the Old Vicarage, Grantchester
Date of Birth:April 15, 1940
Education:Attended Brasenose College, Oxford, 1963-66. Received a diploma in sports education from Oxford Institute
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
BOTTOM-LINE: Interesting collection, but uneven . PLOT OR PREMISE: This is a collection of short political stories from various famous authors dating back to the 1800s. . WHAT I LIKED: The best story of the collection is by Mark Twain, entitled The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg (an interesting story of greed that corrupts an uncorruptible town, prompted by a man wronged by the town). James Thurber's story, The Greatest Man in the World, is a slightly different take on flying arond the world, as a man flies non-stop while the media and public scramble to meet him and the government tries to hide the fact that his character isn't that great. L.E. Jones' story, The Bishop's Aunt, focuses on occupied Eastern Europe during the war and questions of sacrifice, faith, martyrdom, and strategy. And Jeffrey Archer's own story, The Coup, has two business rivals stranded in Nigeria during a coup, and having to resolve their differences. . WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Three stories were good, but not as good as the rest. Charles Dickens story, The Election for Beadle, tells the tale of an election for church Beadle, and two men fighting to elect their choice. Rudyard Kipling's tale of The Village that Voted the Earth Was Flat has a fight between a man and his buddies against a town that had a speed trap set to catch speeders. Finally, Saki's tale of Ministers of Grace is a really strange tale of turning political animals into actual animals, and letting angels take their place. . DISCLOSURE: I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the authors, nor do I follow them on social media.