Archives for April 2014


Writing That Is of Marginal Interest

By Mike Feinsilber

So there I was happily reading Lynne Olson’s fascinating book, Those Angry Days, about the pre-World War II struggles between the isolationists who wanted to keep America out of the war and the internationalists who couldn’t stand America’s hands-off policy while Nazi bombers were pounding London night after night.

And there I came across a series of pencilled in comments in the book’s margins by a previous reader of the book, which I’d borrowed from the D.C. Public Library. “Dear Reader” is how I’ve come to think of Olson’s ghostly second guesser. And  I’ve come to think of Dear Reader as elderly and a woman because of her frail, thin, and tiny handwriting. Maybe that’s sexist. My evidence is thin.