Self Agrandizement Alert, Newton and the Counterfeiter, unexpected praise, (Karl Rove…yes, that Karl Rove edition)

I have to admit, I did  not see this coming.  Or rather, I did, but only because Karl Rove…that Karl R., the former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, showed me the notable courtesy of sending me a personal note to tell me how much he liked Newton and the Counterfeiter. (AmazonPowellsBarnes and NobleIndiebound and  across the pond at, and John Smith & Son — not to mention electronically at Amazon’s Kindle store, and in audiobook form at

I’m not going to repeat the nice things Mr. Rove said in his brief note — when in this age so profligate of bytes someone takes the trouble to send a physical object, on which a human hand has inscribes some private words, it seems right to keep those sentiments private.  But obviously, it’s wonderful to get kind thoughts from readers under any circumstances. Writing is such a solitary act, and the connection between writer and reader so abstract, so distant, most of the time, that when someone does take the trouble to let you know that you’ve connected with another mind, it’s just great. (Keep those cards and letters coming, folks!)

And it’s even better when a reader with unquestioned broader influence chooses to do the unexpected kindness of announcing his or her pleasure in a public way.  So of course, my thanks to Mr. Rove for his positive mention of my story of Newton and his pursuit of criminals amidst economic chaos and opportunity on his website.

But we all know that I’m just dodging around the point here.

Karl Rove?  Karl Rove!

Readers of this blog know that there is not much, probably not anything of consequence on which the two of us would agree.

Until now.

You see:, it turns out, we do come together on at least one issue:  we share his expressed hope for good book sales.  See:  bipartisanship is possible!

Image:  Edouard Manet, “The Reader” 1861.

Explore posts in the same categories: good books, Newton and the Counterfeiter, Newtoniana, Writing

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5 Comments on “Self Agrandizement Alert, Newton and the Counterfeiter, unexpected praise, (Karl Rove…yes, that Karl Rove edition)”

  1. […] Imagine about the last guy on Earth whom you’d expect would send blog friend Tom Levenson a personal note praising Newton and the Counterfeiter. Done? Now check to see if you were right. […]

  2. Ted K Says:

    That’s just too damned funny. I want to take some swipes at Rove here, but I’ll let it rest for the time being. Sullivan had some unflattering posts about Karl Rove’s relationship with his father though:

    If that one doesn’t get your blood boiling, try this one on President Obama and Israel.

  3. This leaves me feeling a little dirty for liking your book so much. Does this mean Karl Rove and I are just the same?

  4. Gramsci Says:

    Whatever else he is, Rove is an autodidact who takes pride in how much he reads. He confuses quantity with quality, but that’s OK. “A Shakespeare book”– that’s cute.

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