WashPost's Drive-by Dismissal of New Coolidge Bio: 100,000 Words About 'President Who Never Said Anything'

March 3rd, 2013 3:24 PM

Political bias in the Washington Post can crop up in the most unexpected places. Take today's list of "Washington Bestsellers" on the last page of the paper's Sunday Book World mini-section. This week, Amity Shlaes's Coolidge -- a new biography which explores the conservative 30th president's tax cuts and reduction in the size of the federal government  -- ranked number 3 on the top 10 list of nonfiction/general hardcover titles, one notch below My Beloved World, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor's new autobiography.

The staffer charged with writing up the list snarked that the Coolidge tome was "100,000 words about a president who never said anything," while noting of Sotomayor's memoir, "The justice recounts her path from a Bronx housing project to the Supreme Court." 

While Coolidge grew up in obscurity in a Vermont farming community and rose through the ranks of Republican politics in Massachusetts, his is an equally fascinating story for political and history junkies, so why the dismissive abstract, especially given that Shlaes's book is flying off the bookstore shelves? 

To be fair, Coolidge was nicknamed "Silent Cal," so there is that, but Shlaes's bio is about uncovering the man and the statesman behind and perhaps obscured by his laconic and stoic Yankee exterior. 

If the book remains on the top 10 next week, might I suggest this: "New look at 30th president's journey from Vermont farm to White House."