It’s wonderful to see one of your favorite cultural figures endorse another one of your favorite cultural figures. From this morning’s New York Post — in the words of our friend John Derbyshire, “America’s newspaper of record” — I learn that legendary pop artist Micky Dolenz, of Monkees fame, says Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present is one of his favorite books. Anybody who hasn’t read this book really ought to (and, for that matter, anybody unfamiliar with the Monkees’ greatest hits should check it out — it’s some of the best popular music ever produced). We still have, at the NR office, an advance reader’s copy of From Dawn to Decadence full of Prof. Jeffrey Hart’s notes — an intellectual keepsake of the highest order.
PS. Their biggest hits were great fun, but my personal favorites were “Valleri,” which peaked at #3, and “Your Auntie Grizelda,” which evidently didn’t make the charts at all (nor, for that matter, did the infectious theme song from their TV show; of course, both these songs did appear on albums that were on the charts for the better part of a year). Pop music of this sort does not, I concede, have the best reputation among intellectuals. After the Monkees broke up, Davy Jones had to start using his middle name, Pryce, so people would stop asking him whether the band would get back together and start taking him seriously as a foreign-policy analyst.