Saturday, March 18, 2006

American Vertigo

As many folks will already know, Bernard Heri Levy's (BHL) American Vertigo (available at Powell's Books) is taking the liberal intelligentsia by storm these days. Levy is a pop-philosopher, describing his book as "following in the footsteps of de Tocqueville," talked about his book to New York Magazine as follows:
“The trip was under three shadows,” BHL explains. “The shadow of the war in Iraq, the shadow of an election, and the shadow of Katrina,” although the hurricane hadn’t struck at the time he wrote the book. “The anti-ci-pated shadow of Katrina, as you see. I was in New Orleans four or five months before Katrina, and I more or less foresee what is going to happen."
OK, so far so lame. In fact, the vast majority of content produced by American media regarding BHL is dismissive and spiteful.

Enter Michael Feldman's "What Do You Know?," a radio show distributed by PRI. On March 4, 2006, Feldman interviews BHL regarding the new book. Feldman is a comedian and tried to engage BHL in the usual blather you would expect but BHL did not take the bait. In fact, BHL was mannered, polite and uncompromising, which is exceedingly rare, if not unique, in American media of any type. BHL in my opinion gave an exceptional socialist analysis of the state of American culture and defended his position quite well in the face of a less than enthusiastic audience.

The audio is available from PRI: The Show - March 4, 2006 (RealAudio, advance to minute 6:00 where the BHL interview begins where Feldman tries to put BHL on his heals, minute 13:00 is where the truely interesting content begins as BHL smacks Feldman down) and I encourage you to give it a listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment