GENRE: Random trivia with a not-so-hidden message from one of today's most influential liberal journalists.
THE PITCH: In an effort to make an inconceivable number more palpable, Hendrick Hertzberg shows you one million dots. Five thousand dots per page means you get 200 pages of mind-boggling, eye-crossing circles about the size of a pin head. Each page has statistics that correlate with one of those tiny spots. Individually, the facts seem arbitrary, but collectively generate a weighty conception of a mil.
AUTHORIAL PEDIGREE: Hertzberg's a senior editor and staff writer at the New Yorker and one of the most audible voices in U.S. media. Since his start at the Harvard Crimson, his expertise has been local and national politics. The one-time speech writer for Jimmy Carter is also the author of Politics: Observations and Arguments, 1966-2004, and the recently released ¡Obámanos!.
INTERESTINGLY: Hertzberg originally published this concept in 1970. This edition is fully updated and revised.
ADDED BONUS: Flipping the pages produces a dizzying psychedelic effect without the trouble of a dizzying psychedelic substance.
BUMMER: The book doesn't have any of these.
STAT SUPERLATIVES: Most obscure stat: "426,525 Kittens it would take to weigh as much as one blue whale."
Most glaring "Did they fact-check that?" stat: "483 Americans killed in the Revolutionary War."
Best contrasting stats: " 720,700 Dollars, sales per minute by Wal-Mart (February 2008 figure)." and "722,800 Dollars, cost of the Iraq war every two minutes."
SHELF WORTH: A seemingly inane concept at first, One Million's intention becomes evident after a few casual flip-throughs and makes for interesting enough coffee table fodder. ...Or maybe that's just the brainwashing effect of the minuscule dots talking. Either way, it's kinda cool to see a million of something.
One Million by Hendrik Hertzberg. Abrams Image. $15.95. 208 pp.
@Curt I was wondering since he's gone vegan.
Funny that she brings up a sports team. I don't know any sports team that…
Yeah..... As if there is no modern statistical reason to associate blacks and violent crime…
world class stuff for a world class city
I would hate to be the guy who has to clean all that grease off…
^Not surprising. This is a man that gets off on the sound of his own…