Archive for February 20, 2012

The Third Monday in February

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Historical, Off Topic, USA

I still haven’t finished writing a review of The Boy in the Suitcase, because it was one of those brilliant books that left me  struggling with my emotions. More on that later.

But it is the third Monday in February a Federal holiday in the USA known officially as Washington’s Birthday, or unofficially as Presidents Day; and I am reading Charles McCarry’s prophetic book, The Better Angels published in 1979.

The title comes from Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address, “when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature“. The story concerns the USA in an election year at the end of the last century, and features an inspirational liberal President, who has ordered the assassination of a charismatic Arab sheikh, and there are other prophetic references throughout the first hundred pages.

I realised what a complete American history nerd I am, when I read this passage, which is relevant on Presidents Day. 

“-he [Mallory] may damn well be the first President since Grover Cleveland to serve two nonconsecutive terms,” said Patrick. 

‘That’s his new witticism. He goes around the country asking people if they can name the President who served between Cleveland’s two terms. Can you?”

“Harrison,” said Emily.

“Smart girl. Which Harrison?”

“I’m not that smart,” Emily said.