Maybe This Book Blurb Works

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.

Bill McWilliams

Hey, just a minute. I named Al Sharpton LONG before your declared "winner" did, but I never heard a peep from anyone. PLEASE check your submissions again. I knew it was Sharpton and one of the clues I relied on was the comment that the person was wearing a long, cashmere coat.

I deserve a prize, too. Really. PLEASE check on this.

Thank you very much.

P.S. I read this blog almost literally every day, but I guess I missed the day you announced someone else's name rather than mine.


Completely off topic but... It is interesting that you switched "Straight Story" and "Lost Highway". If I remember correctly, there was a shot in Straight Story that quoted a Lost Highway shot - the camera pointed down the road with the center lines going by. The difference being, or course, in Straight Story the lines go by very, very slowly and in Lost Highway they are a complete blur.


Busted. It turns out it was "Lost Highway":


Will - Ebert liked "Straight Story":


That happens with some frequency. For example, Ebert hated hated hated "The Village", yet that film was given Two Thumbs Up by Ebert and Roeper. Clearly, one man or the other is able to provide both thumbs if necessary.


If Guliani were to run against Bloomberg today with all his 9/11 hero credentials, he would be wiped out.

Eric Goebelbecker

Sage advice from Rudy - he's the expert on shamelessness.


I seem to remember a movie poster for David Lynch's "The Straight Story" that simply said, "Two Thumbs Down - Siskel and Ebert". I immediately went out to see it.