The Weekly Standard hosted a book party to celebrate Noemie Emery’s “Great Expectations, The Troubled Lives of Political Families.“ It was at the Tabard Inn and as everybody scooped up hummus or nibbled on tasty shrimp and other less easily identifiable delicacies, Editor-in-Chief Bill Kristol recalled that Emery was in the first issue of the magazine and has been a constant contributor (Kirstol also noted the originality of Emery’s title, admitting he’d suggested “Fathers and Sons” — but that was taken). Emery said she didn’t really care if anybody at the party bought the book — she is more interested in succeeding in Iraq.
Noble sentiment, but you should buy the book anyway. It’s a good read. I particularly relished the chapter on the Adams family, which in the end “suffered a surfeit of porcelain, becoming refined at the cost of their vigor.” The Washington Post’s Carolyn See, never a soft touch, liked the book as much as I did:
“In ‘Great Expectations,’ Noemie Emery takes a look at five presidential dynastic families (including one family that — so far — hasn’t gotten past the first generation) and shows, compassionately and insightfully, how these terrible yearnings and expectations play out. She shuns politics as such; her interests are human and personal. Her book is as heartbreaking as it is fascinating.”