Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Senior News Analyst

If you spend any time at all listening to the news on NPR, then your brain probably automatically finishes the phrase 'Senior News Analyst' with the name Dan Schorr. Now 91, Mr. Schorr broadcast his first radio piece 60 years ago. He has had conversations with Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro, as well as Lyndon Johnson, and appeared on Richard Nixon's enemies list. Basically, if you want someone with a steamer trunk full of experience to give you their insight on world events, you want to listen to Dan Schorr. In his latest book, Come to Think of It: notes on the turn of the millennium, Mr. Schorr has collected 17 years worth of NPR essays and commentaries. He covers pretty much all the hot-button topics for news junkies: election campaigns, cronyism, espionage, wars, assassination, terrorism, wiretaps, Vietnam and NAFTA. Going through the transcripts (which are presented in chronological order), is like taking a hyperspeed trip through the past 3 presidencies, with one "oh yeah, I remember that" moment after another. Scanning the index is the ultimate in trivia contests. Can you give a one-sentence biography of Dick Morris? Archibald Cox? Gertrude Ederle? (That last one should really throw you if you are thinking in terms of world politics). This is an enjoyable read from someone who knows more than we do.

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