One-Minute Book Reviews

August 8, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards on Her Husband, John (Quote of the Day / ‘Saving Graces’)

Filed under: Memoirs,Nonfiction — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 2:34 pm
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[Update, 4 p.m. EDT: I posted this just before learning that ABC News is reporting that John Edwards has admitted to having an affair]

What can explain the recent maw of rumors about John Edwards? I went back to Saving Graces (Broadway, 2006), Elizabeth Edwards’s memoir of her life with the 2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee, looking for clues reviewers had missed. I didn’t find any. But I did find Saving Graces a cut above most such memoirs, partly because Edwards does a better job of blending an appealing frankness with the tact required of a politician’s spouse.

Here is her reaction to watching Senate debates on C-SPAN after her husband was elected to represent North Carolina in that body:

“In the wide shots from the gallery, we could pick John out, leaning over his desk, his chin in his hands, watching the proceedings below him, and watching, frankly, in some horror. The founding fathers had not anticipated that Congress, once filled with writers and orators and thinkers, would be filled with politicians with no skill whatever in making a clear point or in eliciting a pertinent piece of evidence in a proceeding that resembled a trial.”

This kind of honesty, by the standards of Washington memoirs, is almost racy.

The News & Observer of Raleigh published its own report, before Edwards confirmed the affair, here The News & Observer article is worth checking out partly because the paper covers the Edwards’s state. It is also being continually updated and has a list of links to, for example, the tabloid photographs that that figure prominently this story.

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

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