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There was an outspoken cultural critic and journalist active in Vienna early in the 20th century named Karl Krause, who William Getzoff of the Chicago Literary Club presented an insightful essay this past Monday. Krause was also known then as a powerful satirist and aphorist.

He could have been writing about President Trump today, when he said:

“The secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so that they believe they are as clever as he.”

Ring any bells?

As cool fall weather descends, remember that it is Book Month, and a good time for some comfortable reading by the fireplace again. One suggestion is to read a book of “fascinating” essays, as one review headline proclaimed about “Apple Pressings,” a newly published collection of essays that I’ve presented before the Chicago Literary Club over recent years.

In one essay titled: “Red, White, Blue and You; or, The Color of Politics,” I write: “The accepted contemporary terms red and blue state, as a sort of shorthand for an entire sociopolitical worldview, were finalized in the 2000 elections, not by some cosmic decorator, but by the long-term host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the late Tim Russert. ”

“Apple Pressings” is available at Amazon in soft and hardback and Kindle editions, and also on other popular book websites such as Barnes and Noble.

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