With Lawsuit Settled, Funkhouser Finally Returns To Official Business: Creating Facebook Lists

funklookingreallygraveIt’s been a long and dark slog through unsettling racial comments and delightful diary entries, but the Mammygate scandal appears to finally be behind us. And not a moment too soon, as far as we’re concerned, because now Mayor Mark Funkhouser can turn his full attention to the city’s most pressing matters. First up? Listing 15 books that will always stick with him. The venue? Facebook. No surprise, really — we’ve discussed the mayor’s presence on that virtual community before. The list comes in response to a prompt by one “Andrew Squitiro,” who asked the mayor and a few others to list their most essential texts. Here is the Litigant in Chief’s list:

Mayor Mark Funkhouser
1. The Source, James Michener
2. The Etruscan, Mika Waltari
3. The Egyptian, Mika Waltari
4. In the Shadow of Man, Jane Goodall
5. A Reason for Hope, Jane Goodall
6. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula LeGuin
7. The Dispossessed, Ursula LeGuin
8. Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl
9. The Clan of the Cave Bear, Jean Auel
10. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley
11. A Prayer for the City, Buzz Bissinger
12. Race Matters, Cornel West
13. The Spirit of Public Administration, George Frederickson
14. Lincoln at Gettysburg, Garry Wills
15. The Last Lion, William Manchester
16. Truman, David McCullough
17. The Power Broker, Robert Caro
18. The Path to Power, Robert Caro
19. Means of Ascent, Robert Caro
20. Master of the Senate, Robert Caro

I’m old. Once I got going, 15 wasn’t enough.

What insights can we glean from the mayor’s list? Well, there’s a higher than expected dose of fantasy and historical fiction, courtesy of the Le Guin and Waltari books, and the Auel stuff is to be expected from a man his age. The Caro LBJ series is a good choice — perhaps the best political writing ever. The Truman bio is a classic, of course, as is the Bissinger book. The overrated Cornel West makes a token appearance, as does Reagan apologist Garry Wills. All in all, a pretty underwhelming list, with one notable exception.

William Manchester’s The Last Lion is a sprawling profile of Churchill (I admit I’ve never read it) in his wanderlust years, before he became a dominant world figure. We note in particular that the subtitle of this book is “Alone, 1932-1940.” Power is an isolating business, and many political leaders have found personal solace in comparing themselves to once-isolated leaders (cf. Bush 43 and Truman) — and, sadly, in convincing themselves that the world is engaged in a Manichean struggle against them. Is Funkhouser starting to see himself as a persecuted, reclusive leader who can find no friendship in political alliance? Seems like it.

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1 Comment

Filed under City Government, Funkhouser, Technology, The Arts

One response to “With Lawsuit Settled, Funkhouser Finally Returns To Official Business: Creating Facebook Lists

  1. andrew

    f1rst! wait… is that a good thing?

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