The Corner

Gods and Mortals

I have been picking typos and other errors out of Right Time, Right Place for its paperback (out this summer, though Amazon has it up for preorder already).

I had trouble with gods, calling Trollope’s Times of London The Thunderer, instead of The Jupiter, and saying that the owl of Athena flew at nightfall, rather than the owl of Minerva. I wrote of Leslie Gore, not Lesley. Mangling the name of this deity is at least a proof of my heterosexuality, though it would be an even stronger proof to be unaware that it is a proof.

The strangest experience is to see, yet again, how Obama has changed since I edited the book the first time. The introduction insists on conservatism’s continuing relevance even in the age of Obama, which will stay in the paperback. But my editor also insisted that I mention Chris Buckley’s endorsement of Obama, which seemed to her a historic event, like Stephen Douglas standing by Lincoln and the Union after Fort Sumter. I didn’t want to include it because the book ends with WFB’s death and Chris’s endorsement, which came later, would be a chronological twiddle. But my editor was adamant. Now I imagine Chris and other former Obamacons would welcome a little oblivion. So I took the mention out.

Not that I think Obama is a goner, but he has become an ordinary mortal, and all in less than two years.

Richard Brookhiser — Historian Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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