Magazine article Book

Letter to Readers

Magazine article Book

Letter to Readers

Article excerpt

THE CLOSE OF SUMMER--beach reading season--and the imminent start of autumn--when publishers roll out many of their biggest and brightest titles of the year--is perhaps the right time to point out the obvious: that reading provides an engaged, imaginative and transcendent experience. Whether it's science fiction or historical biography or religious exploration (and we've got all of that, and more, in this issue), ideas on the page about today, tomorrow and yesterday are critical to our involvement in the daily world.

THIS AUTUMN BRINGS, along with homework and harvest, the hot air of politics. Inside the television rhetoric, beneath the carefully composed and consumer-tested, alliterative phrasing of the politicians, the message seems to be: Words matter more than the ideas. That's simply wrong, of course, but much of the culture seems to drive the point home anyway. Books don't. This election year, do yourself a favor--transcend the banal surface presentation of modern politics with a book or two. Pick a president from the past and learn about him. There have been only forty-one--the first took office just over two hundred years ago, not so long ago that we can't compare today's would-be leaders against their forerunners. …

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