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Two New Alumni Books Generating Political Buzz

New books by two Washington and Lee alumni — Jack Goldsmith of the Class of 1984 and Mike Allen of the Class of 1986 — are generating considerable buzz in the media these days, helped out by their authors’ national television appearances on networks ranging from CNN to Comedy Central.

Last night, Jack Goldsmith, the Henry L. Shattuck Professor at Harvard Law School, published his latest book, “Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11,” which examines how presidential powers have changed in the aftermath of the 9-11 terror attacks. Jack served as assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush Administration and was also special counsel to the general counsel to the Department of Defense.

In an interview Wednesday night on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, Jack said: “Everybody focuses on how powerful the post-9-11 presidency is, and it is powerful. We’ve forgotten, or we haven’t seen, all the different ways in which courts, Congress, the press, human rights organizations, people inside the executive have pushed back against the presidency and changed what he was doing, both in the Bush administration and the Obama administration.”

You can watch the entire “Daily Show” interview online. And you can also read a review of the book in BusinessWeek as well as a piece that Jack wrote on the subject for Slate last month.

Meantime, earlier this week, “Inside the Circus,” the second e-book on the current presidential campaign by Mike Allen, chief political writer for Politico, and Evan Thomas, formerly of Newsweek and now Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton, was released. It immediately got considerable media attention for several of its behind-the-scenes stories from the Republican primary campaigns. The first installment in what is to be a three e-book series, “The Right Fights Back,” was published in November. In an interview on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, Mike described the concept of short e-books as “Theodore White in real time,” referring to historian White’s “The Making of the President” books about John F. Kennedy.

Mike was also interviewed by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, and you can watch him and Evan Thomas discuss the new book on Politico’s website. Reviews of “Inside the Circus” are on The Atlantic and TIME websites, among many others.

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