Washington gets knocked for lots of things: The soulless lobbyists of K Street; the feckless windbags of Capitol Hill; the wildly offensive name of its football team. But one thing the city has perhaps always gotten right is museums.
Early on, putting together an issue like this feels a little like assigning a college essay. You tell everyone what to do and when to do it by, and then you sit back and pray a few people take it seriously. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. When our deadline arrived, no one asked for an extension. And the work? Impressive across the board.
In My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind, Scott Stossel—editor of the Atlantic and author of a 2004 biography of Sargent Shriver—describes his quest to understand his severe anxiety disorder. How severe? Among other things, Stossel fears enclosed spaces, heights, fainting, germs, flying, vomiting, vomiting on planes, and . . . cheese. Here’s a conversation with him.
Former Washington Post reporter Peter Carlson’s terrific book Junius and Albert’s Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey follows two colorful pals as they try to escape the South. That may sound like the plot of a certain classic American novel, but this isn’t fiction. Junius Browne and Albert Richardson were covering the Civil War for the New York Tribune when they hitched a ride aboard a tugboat ferrying supplies to Grant’s army at Vicksburg. Confederates bombarded the tug, and the two were captured and imprisoned. They escaped and walked more than 300 miles to safety. Here’s a conversation with Carlson.
Marie Arana’s new book, Bolívar: American Liberator, is the first popular biography in English about Venezuelan revolutionary Simón Bolívar. Known as the Great Liberator and often compared to George Washington, Bolívar was a larger-than-life figure who liberated six South American countries from Spanish rule.