book-of-the-week

There Be Dragons — and Horses

Take in a Black Eyed Susan on Preakness Day! (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Start off the week with a rock-star historian and end it with the spectacle of dragons gliding down the Potomac River. In between, mix with a little splash of ginger and take in the second leg of the Triple Crown. The Wright Stuff David McCullough reads from his new book, "The Wright Brothers" at Sixth & I Monday at 7 p.m. The celebrated biographer of such political heavyweights as Harry S. Truman and John Adams chronicles the story of Orville and Wilbur, who pioneered aviation as we know it. Wonder how they'd feel about cellphones in airline cabins now. Ticketed event. Thirty bucks gets you a book and a seat. Go to the Politics and Prose website for purchase.  

Summertime New Belgium Brewing and Girls Pint Out team up to drink up at Roofers Union Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The occasion is the release of New Belgium's Pear Ginger Beer, and to encourage beer cocktails, hanging out and noshing. It'll take place in a dozen U.S. cities, from Portland, Ore., to Tucson, Ariz., to our fair city.  

‘Liberty’s First Crisis’ Is a Reminder of the Fragility of Freedom of Speech

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Deadly attacks on cartoonists who had the temerity to portray Mohammed in unflattering terms are only the most recent and visible manifestations. Across the globe, from the dominions of tyrannical dictators to the effete offices of some of America’s finest universities, officialdom is attempting to squelch voices that dare to disagree.  

As Americans, we view our First Amendment right to free speech — to write and say what we like without interference from the government — as a first principle. Without freedom to speak, there is no freedom.  

The Interpretation of Marco Rubio's 'American Dreams'

Rubio has a new book, "American Dreams." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

My fellow Americans,  

No three words better capture the spirit of my plan to revive the American dream than “my fellow Americans,” suggestive as those words are of the opening of an inaugural address. As I imagine myself looking down the National Mall at the sea of hopeful faces, eloquently holding forth on the American dream, I hear myself moving on to modestly recall the sacrifices of early Marco Rubios that brought me to this pinnacle of dreaming.  

Random Awesome Passages From Rep. Steve Israel's 'The Global War on Morris'

The budding writer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., rolls out his book tour for his satirical novel "The Global War on Morris," Roll Call After Dark makes note of some of the book's passages, in a random and hopefully entertaining manner.

Want more? Israel reads from his novel at Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW on Wednesday at 7 p.m.  

Decoding the Sometimes Mystifying Vocabulary of Politics

Have you ever found yourself walking back a dog whistle on the basis of a Washington handshake? Sometimes the political world's vocabulary is otherworldly. In those cases, "Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs & Washington Handshakes: Decoding the Jargon, Slang and Bluster of American Political Speech," is here to help.  

This new book, the product of veteran political journalists Chuck McCutcheon and David Mark, provides a breezy guide to the arcane shibboleths employed by the lawmakers, journalists, staffers, fixers (defined on p. 13) and other citizens primarily of the Acela Corridor (defined on p. 70). Its fun tone belies its utility, as even the most seasoned D.C. sherpa (p.25) or graybeard (p. 34) may not know the ins and outs of each and every term. Want to know the genesis of some of the budgetese (p. 102) thrown around in the coming weeks? This is the place.  

Party Like It's 1844
'Innovative State' Builds Case for Acting Like Adults

In the middle of a political season, with members of Congress hunkering down amid the midterm election season, it's refreshing to pick up a book — a policy book even! — that makes the case that it's possible to work across party lines for the common good.  

Aneesh Chopra, former chief technology officer for the United States and Virginia's former secretary of technology, writes in his book "Innovative State" that the way to go beyond the management cliches of "working smarter" and "doing more with less" is to both keep in mind that innovation has defined basic human progress and good people usually come around to good ideas, whether it's a non-spoils civil service or digital communication.