June 9th, 2019


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Bland Ambition, by Steve Tally

Second paragraph of third chapter:
Thomas Jefferson said of his vice president, in words that would later be full of irony, that he was "a crooked gun, or other perverted instrument, whose aim of shot you could never be sure of."
Published in 1992, the subtitle of the book lays it out: From Adams to Quayle - the Cranks, Criminals, Tax Cheats, and Golfers Who Made it to Vice President. There's lots of fascinating historical trivia here, including sidebars on the Twelfth Amendment, the provisions for succession and Alexander Stephens, but there is a rather wearyingly cynical tone throughout which I felt was one of the precursors to today's sorry state of affairs of a lack of trust in politicians generally. You can get it here.

This was the non-fiction book that had lingered longest unread on my shelves. Next on that pile is Kate Bush: Under the Ivy, by Graeme Thompson.