Webb's Vocation

Ezra Klein reviews Webb's new book:

Webb is too good a writer for his book to be an effective political document. Rather than keeping to the safe, sanitized-image construction traditional to the genre, Webb wanders off-path, taking extended digressions to defend Douglas MacArthur's conduct during the Korean War and blast the Senate for giving Teddy Roosevelt an undeserved posthumous Medal of Honor. He assails much of the Democratic Party for abandoning the troops in Vietnam, and spends a chapter lamenting our culture of incarceration. A Time To Fight is that rare book by an active politician that actually leaves you feeling like you understand something about the author, his core commitments, his driving obsessions, and his political style. The picture that emerges does not suggest a man politically or temperamentally suited to the vice-presidency but a man who may prove to be one of the Democratic Party's most important political figures nonetheless.