The year 2012 could well be the most controversial
time in our country’s political history. So, let’s begin
with Gideon Rachman’s statement in his FT.com blog: “Fiction
is a route to political truth”.
The boundaries of Political Fiction are definitely a challenge,
which makes it quite hard to delimit. When columnists and novelists
explore the promises expressed in campaign speeches by the people
running for an elected office, they often find themselves trying
to define what is being said. The politician’s lack of knowledge
on subjects usually is quite evident and is filled with partial
facts and a sprinkling of fiction.
Politicians, generally in their campaign speeches, use satire,
fables and quotes from past presidents. Political speechwriters
are word architects, and create them to be used likened to a polished
razor that delivers a keen wound that’s scarcely felt or seen.
This directly criticizes their audiences unknowingly, or it can
present, or often embrace, another genre, Political Fantasy
(A fiction created by political speechwriters that takes place in
a fabricated world).
As a political observer and writer, it never ceases to amaze me
of the lies, promises, and rhetoric that politicians from both parties
relate to their audiences during campaigning at election time. Most
of their speechwriters do not keep them informed on current events,
which are or have occurred around the globe. Their abilities to
read from a pre-written speech, in front of an audience or during
a candidate debate, about different subjects are “off the
wall” and contain mostly their party’s rhetoric.
If you want to prepare yourself for the political beguiles
of this coming campaign year, I suggest reading:
An American Novel (1880) by Henry
Brooks Adams. This novel is a commentary about political
corruption and does not portray any of its characters in a
positive light. Yet, it was supposedly based on the careers
of certain political figures in Maine.
THE KINGS MEN (1946) by Robert Penn Warren.
It’s set in the mid 1930’s, and portrays the dramatic
rise and fall of a fictional political figure named, Willie
Stark. Stark campaigns his way throughout the state of Louisiana
and becomes its governor. His political strong-arm tactics
gain him many enemies and cause his dismiss by being shot
to death on the steps of the state capital building.
WIFE (2008) by Curtis Sittenfeld.
The novel is a political satire, and believed to be loosely
based on the life of Laura Bush. It depicts a quiet, well-read
woman with compassion for the world around her. Her marriage
to an aggressive militant president-husband, who gets the
nation into a very controversial war, gently pushes her into
a compassionate agenda of helping needy people around the
If the above novels tickle your taste for political satire, then
maybe you’re ready for an intricate law-and-politic-laced-crime
fiction series. I suggest reading the following novels that reflect
today’s greed for political power and crime: Kerry
Kilcannon Political Fiction Trilogy by Richard