In the AOC archive

In a recent post Lloyd Billingsley returns to David Garrow and holds out the prospect of more. I thought I would repeat my own observations on Garrow in the context of a review he wrote for the Washington Free Beacon today (quoted below). Bear with me while I work my way back to it. I think you will find it worth waiting for.

I greatly respect David Garrow’s integrity as a scholar, biographer, and historian. Indeed, I am in awe of it. Everything he writes is worth reading. He is a principled man of the left and perhaps the world’s foremost scholar on Martin Luther King and the FBI. I have found him to be a generous email correspondent as well.

Professor Garrow is the author, most recently, of Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama (2017). This staggeringly researched book — Garrow spent nine years on it — covers 1078 pages of text (even though Garrow relegates his comments on Obama’s presidency to a 50-page epilogue). Rising Star is full of discoveries that Garrow documents in great detail. The 1078 pages of text are supported by 300 pages of footnotes in a double column with small print. Garrow puts every other biographer of Obama to shame.

Last year David Samuels interviewed Professor Garrow for the Tablet column “The Obama factor.” I thought it was the column of the year. It is the source of Lloyd Billingsley’s posts citing Garrow.

Professor Garrow is a voluminous reader. Writing for the Spectator World, he recommended three 2023 books. He concluded with a choice that was off my radar: “[B]y far the most powerful tome I perused this year is a privately published 640-page Report on the Biden Laptop, authoritatively compiled by Garrett Ziegler and available on the web from his 501(c)3, ‘Marco Polo.’ It’s a transfixing window into the entire Biden family, and the scale of human depravity it relentlessly details is unforgettably disgusting.”

Coming from David Garrow, that is quite a recommendation. The book remains accessible online for free at Report on the Biden Laptop.

Today at the Free Beacon Professor Garrow reviews The Truce: Progressives, Centrists, and the Future of the Democratic Party, by Hunter Walker and Luppe B. Luppen. The book covers President Biden’s alliance with the Democratic Party’s far left. I have read widely in Professor Garrow’s work, but on the subject of AOC he applies a dry wit that I haven’t previously observed. Paying tribute to one of the authors’ research discoveries, he writes:

An archived web page from 2018, created by a developer named Riley Roberts, purported to offer for sale Civet Select, “the world’s most exotic cup of coffee.” In Indonesia, according to the web page, “cage-free indigenous Palm Civets climb to the top of the plantation trees to eat the best coffee beans in the crop. Civets digest the berries and pass the coffee beans. The enzymes in the digestive process remove the bitterness and acidity from the coffee. Farmers hike the plantation and surrounding forest to find the rare, wild Civet droppings. The found beans are thoroughly cleaned, washed and sun dried at the plantation. Lab testing confirms Civet coffee is clean and safe to drink.”

Anyone reading these astonishing claims might well think the resulting product, pardon my French, tastes like shit, but a winsome photo of Roberts’s attractive partner, “Alexandria,” highlights her reassuring guarantee that that’s not the case: “This Civet coffee has a unique, smooth and full-bodied flavor that I really enjoyed.”

Yet most amazing of all is the listed price of the “found” beans for which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was shilling: $40 for two ounces! Coffee beans usually come in 12-ounce packages, so $240 for a bag of “droppings” would be an awfully steep price even for New York City Democratic Socialists.

Professor Garrow’s review is published under the heading “Left to their own devices.” At his personal site Professor Garrow maintains an archive of his own writings. It is accessible here, broken down by year on the left margin and by subject on the right.

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