Ron Suskind’s The Way of the World sounds excruciating, or at least its jacket copy does: an “emotionally stirring and strikingly original portrait of this post-9/11 world” that follows people “who are turning fear and frustration into a desperate-and often daring-brand of human salvation.” That’s it for dreck, though; Suskind’s book deftly weaves together some seemingly disparate folks—a Pakistani native in Dupont, a Colorado family hosting an Afghani exchange student, and the guy who runs the United States government. It’s Suskind’s portrayal of President Bush that’s most fascinating—a natural bully who can never divorce himself from personalizing conflicts, he’s the lens through which Suskind focuses his study of America’s lost moral authority. And if you doubt that, just note that Suskind’s examination of Bush’s relationship with Vice President Cheney, whom he paints as a sort of bag man, is much more intriguing than his assertions of forged memos and malfeasance leading to the Iraq War.

SUSKIND DISCUSSES AND SIGNS COPIES OF HIS WORK AT 7 P.M. AT POLITICS & PROSE, 5015 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 364-1919.

More from WCP