We’ve written in the past about the (presumed) worthlessness of book blurbs. But I just came across one blurb that I think might be an exception. The book in question is Why Blacks Fear “America’s Mayor”: Reporting Police Brutality and Black Activist Politics Under Rudy Giuliani. You may recall that this was the book Al Sharpton was reading on a recent cross-country flight. Its author, Peter Noel, was kind enough to send me a copy of the book after he saw the Sharpton post. On the front cover of the book is a blurb that, as it turns out, is an excerpt from a communication that Rudy Giuliani himself sent Noel, a longtime metro journalist in New York. It’s not exactly a love letter:
“Your writing divides people in this city … you report language that shouldn’t be used … what you are doing is unfortunate for the city … It’s a shame really and you should be ashamed of yourself doing it.”
It certainly got my attention.