E. L. Doctorow on G. W. Bush
Normally, I wouldn't consider the politics of an author relevant to a work of historical fiction, but the following piece appears to spring directly from ruminations discussed in this book. On p. 89, Sherman wonders "So how could he, the President, understand death, truly?"
The Unfeeling President
I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our 21-year-olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.
But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. ...
E. L. Doctorow, 9/9/04