Sunday, April 27, 2008

Heads In The Sand: A Review

Well, yesterday while killing time waiting for Harold and Kumar to escape from Guantanamo Bay, I had the chance to duck into a Barnes and Noble and procure Matt's book, Heads in the Sand. It was quite a search, so, you're welcome Matt, and tell your publisher that next time, maybe a cover design that wasn't so similar to Sidney Blumenthal's would be a cool idea.

Anyway, Matt wrote this book, Heads In The Sand. It is about how the Republicans screw up foreign policy and foreign policy screws up the Democrats, and I can't recommend it enough. Mind you, I haven't read it. I was able to grok what it is about because of the cover of the book, which is similar to Sidney Blumenthal's (at least to me) and which I, like Sidney Blumenthal's cover, have read, allowing me to know that the book explains how the Republicans screw up foreign policy and foreign policy screws up the Democrats.

I will read this book, of course. Soon, too. I mean, probably. But I can nevertheless recommend this to you based upon perfectly objective criteria, even without reading it. And with that in mind, why wouldn't you buy it? Allow me to make my case.

1. Owning this book will probably get you laid.

I asked this Matt, straight off, and he all but assured me this is the case. You should buy this book even if you intend to not read it. People will notice you, remark on it, and perhaps, if everything else breaks your way, fuck you. Matt pointed out that Kriston Capps had already been accosted on a city bus by some woman who noticed the book and remarked upon it. Do you think Capps didn't close that deal? Don't be ignorant. Capps is constantly redolent with the verdure of recent feminine arousal. Trust me, he snapped it off. And Heads In The Sand helped, and by "helped," I mean, "at the very least did not hurt."

2. Yglesias has a nice television.

If a book can be judged by the quality of the television bought with its advance, then Heads In The Sand is a must read. If there's one thing I know about Michael O'Hanlon, it this: that motherfucker never had his teevee mentioned by name in the New York Times. But Matt has, and that speaks to the notion that Matt is a special kind of author and that Heads In The Sand is a special kind of book. You see, I have seen said teevee, and would describe it as "big" and "shimmery." Also: "expensive." Heads In The Sand reminds me of a big and shimmery and expensive television.

3. Yglesias' work in other sources and different contexts is really, really good.

Like I said: I have not read Matt's book. But I have read the index of my boss' book* and discovered that Matt is mentioned on pages 198 and 199:

But the purpose of the surge was not more "military success" but political stability. As Matt Yglesias put in the Atlantic, "Its goal was to create an improvement in the security situation in Baghdad which (it was hypothesized) was the necessary precondition for a political resolution to Iraq's fundamental conflicts. The surge was tried, and American casualties went up abd violence stayed at the same level and then violence declined and then U.S. casualties declined and then it turned out that the surge had failed and the political situation was the same as it had been at the beginning."

Pretty good paragraph, huh? And Matt contributed the words to most of it! Now imagine a situation in which such paragraphs continue for six - even eight! - consecutive pages! That is what Heads In The Sand is all about.

So you should definitely get Heads In The Sand. That said, I realize, of course, that while I deftly proved this contention, nothing I wrote can boiled down into a marketable "blurb" that Matty can use to promote his book. So let this be that blurb:
Matt Yglesias' Heads In The Sand is a book I'll almost certainly read before I read Keith Gessen's new one.

In stores now - except the one I went to because I bought the last one - so suck it, slows!

*Similarly, I've only read the index of Right Is Wrong, which I reviewed as, "Organized, numbery...a tour-de-force!"

1 comment:

John Evo said...

Nice. My kind of review. Got her via a BJKeefe recommend, if that earns him anything.

Turn off word verification. It's dumb. I haven't had it on for over a year and had to delete two spam comments. Actually, I left one of them up because I was lazy. No of my 10 readers complained.