City Paper is not for tourists
The title of Howard Fineman’s The Thirteen American Arguments: Enduring Debates That Define and Inspire Our Country sells itself, and America, a little short. The actual list of petty arguments that Americans will never grow tired of passionately bitching about while simultaneously displaying their own complete ignorance of is likely significantly longer, going beyond Fineman’s tried-and-true subjects including “Who is an American?” and “How much power should a president have?” to more specific—yet no less thought-provoking—matters such as “Should I supersize my Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese Value Meal?,” “Who was better: Larry Bird or Michael Jordan?,” and “Can a man not control his bitch with violence?” For, if fast food, sports, and punching stuff aren’t the very definitions of the American way of life, what is? Fineman’s tome, nonetheless, remains chock-full of the kind of important questions Americans should probably be looking into—if only they weren’t too busy arguing over whether reading is for communists. Fineman discusses and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919.