All That Beauty

Colm Tóibín writes about Obama and James Baldwin in the New York Review of Books. Specifically he talks about

the great difference between Baldwin's sensibility and that of Obama. Whereas Baldwin sought to make distinctions, Obama always wants to make connections; his urge is to close circles even when they don't need to be closed or the closure is too neat to be fully trusted. Whereas Baldwin longed to disturb the peace, create untidy truths, Obama was slowly becoming a politician.

Still, Tóibín write a tidy essay in the end, drawing out the similarities in the paths and the autobiographies of the two, finally bringing them both together with Baldwin's question about the future of America as represented by its children: "What will happen to all that beauty?"

Take a look here.

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