Sunday, January 29, 2006

Keillor Vivisects Levy

French philsopher-as-popstar Bernard-Henri Levy has been barnstorming the U.S. pitching his new book, American Vertigo, Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville, tangling with neocons like William Kristol and Francis Fukuyama and popping up on every talk show in sight, from Charlie Rose, to Jon Stewart, to Cooking with Martha. It's hard not to be carried away by Levy's peripatetic charm, but Garrison Keillor, a good Scandanavian like myself, is underwhelmed In the lead review of this Sunday's New York Times Review of Books (free subscription required), he dissects Levy's relentlessly facile observations as if they were a frog in biology class, with a distinctly American wit that from Mark Twain to Mike Royko and beyond has known how to dispatch nonsense with an ascerbic, cut-to-the-chase counterpoint.

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