The David Frum and Dr. Thomas Harrison conversation about Trumpocracy last week at the Regent Theatre was a sold-out event. To those of you who were disappointed because you could not get tickets, I apologize. Had we anticipated the clamour for last minute tickets we could have investigated opening the library to livestream the event. We joked that it will be our slogan from here on in, “Remember Frum “ – the message being, get your tickets early!
It was obvious that those in attendance were utterly engaged in the topic. Dr. Harrison’s skillful questioning and Frum’s thoughtful and informed answers made for an intriguing evening. The stack of questions that I picked up from the audience to take to the stage was a sure indication that American politics was a topic of compelling interest. At the conclusion of the talk we sold out of Frum’s book Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic and many joined the long line up to have the book autographed. Given the interest in the Frum book I would like to suggest several others that the library has in its collection.
David commented in the course of his talk that Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff was one that he had read. Though there have been some doubts cast on Wolff’s sources, it was David’s belief that for the most part he was pretty accurate in his assessment of the Trump presidency. Peter Conrad of The Guardian says of the book: “What makes the book significant is its sly, hilarious portrait of a hollow man, into the black hole of whose needy, greedy ego the whole world has virtually vanished.”
It’s Even Worse than You Think is the bestseller by David Cay Johnston who has been following Trump since 1988. Among other observations he says that under Trump conflict of interest is passe. He cites the use of Trump properties paid for by the taxpayer at full price and the family’s blind trust – run he says with “eyes wide open” to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.
James Comey’s book A Higher Loyalty: Truth,Lies, and Leadership has also been a popular favourite at the library. The former FBI Director shares his experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his twenty year career. He examines good ethical leadership and how that drives good decisions. He has been involved in some of the highest profile cases in the United States from Martha Stewart, to Bush’s policies on torture, to Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal and of course the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election.
Judging from the success of the Frum talk, the comments of our patrons and the popularity of the subject area in the library, there are a lot of political junkies in our community. For those of you who fall into this category we have an upcoming event that will be of interest to you. On Aug. 14 at 2 p.m. at the Picton branch we will hear from J.D.M. Stewart, the author of Being Prime Minister. This is a behind-the-scenes account of our prime ministers from Macdonald to Trudeau as they dealt with the stresses of the nation’s top job. Former MP Lyle Vanclief told me about the book and highly recommended it. From his perspective and years in Ottawa, the author has captured an accurate portrayal of our P.M.’s that did not necessary come across through the media.
Join us Aug. 14. This is not a ticketed event, but we always welcome your donations large and small to help us achieve our Picton expansion goal. Visit timetorenew.ca to donate. Thanks to Thomas Harrison and David Frum our project received a big boost last week. Watch the web site as our thermometer climbs.