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If you can read only one book this year, I recommend The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. A couple of weeks ago, on the National Review Flagship weekly podcast “The Editors,” Rich Lowry asked what the panelists were reading. One of the panelists said The Splendid and the Vile.
The next week, that panelist said that he had finished and another panelist said that he was now reading it! About that time, I heard one of the panelists at the Dispatch Flagship Podcast mention the book, and if memory serves, an MSNBC person said that he was reading it! All were in thrall with the book.
I have a colonoscopy coming up next Tuesday, and I wanted to take a quick vacation to southwest Colorado. I ordered the book. It arrived on Wednesday, 72 hours ago. I just finished its 503 pages a few minutes ago. In the last 72 hours, I have been driving some 600 miles and reading this book, stopping only to sleep. I immediately ordered a copy to be sent to my mother; I didn’t want her to wait for it to be delivered by “media mail.”