One of the greatest radio personalities of all time, Jonathan Schwartz of New York City’s NPR affiliate, made an interesting reference on the air this weekend. He mentioned a recent book review in the New York Times by Michiko Kakutani. In fact, he mentioned it several times, in between long pauses during which I assumed he had fallen asleep. To my satisfaction, Msr. Schwartz was not losing consciousness, but rather reveling in the rich subtext of the article, which ostensibly reviewed a book on Adolf Hitler’s rise to power titled Hitler: Ascent.
The author’s neat bullet points bring out salient elements of the dictator’s personality, including his narcissism, opportunism, effective public speaking skills, ability to appeal directly to his audience’s emotions, grim worldview, and perhaps most strikingly, his apparent failure to “recognize the difference between lies and truth.” These points stand out so starkly, given this country’s current political climate, that I had to lean back in my alpaca hide-lined antique rocking chair and adjust my monocle pensively to consider the ramifications of the piece. What to make of it? Is there any current political figure to whom the author might be attempting to compare the Nazi dictator?
Anyone at all?
It’s on the tip of my tongue. I will be sure to notify you when it materializes. If you think of it before me, do tweet it to me @City_Sasquatch.