‘Red Hot’ Engel sisters, possible iPad edition, Henry Adams and ‘Scandalize your classroom’

Remember my optimism about Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, the play by the Engel twins, based on the life of the uppity liberal Texas columnist who fondly gave George Bush the nickname of “Shrub”?

So far, the write-ups are upbeat, and I predict that R.H.P. will make it to Broadway—aided by Kathleen Turner’s depiction of Ivins. Here’s my Q & A with Margaret Engel, aka Peggy, an old friend from my Lorain Journal days. The play is running in Philly through April 18.

Three other items of the moment:

The Solomon Scandals is a trade paperback, but you can also buy various e-book editions, without Digital Rights Management to reduce your enjoyment of the book. Would you care for an enhanced iPad edition, which would also work on most other ePub-capable gizmos? Suggestions welcomed for Twilight Times Books and me! Perhaps a few photos of places mentioned in Scandals? Or a Rothman bio related to the history in the novel? I was hardly in the inner D.C. elite, but grew up on the outer fringes, and I have a little Robert McNamara story to pass on. What’s more, a convicted Watergater lived right behind us before he hit the big time, although to my family he was just a good neighbor, and I’m not certain how fair the charges were in his case. At any rate, I see the extra material as adding context, especially for readers outside the United States.

—Eons ago I read The Education of Henry Adams, and in the future I’ll probably put online a long biographical essay titled “The Education of David Rothman,” perhaps to accompany the (possible) enhanced ePub edition of Scandals as well. Adams was a ferocious anti-Semite, like certain other Brahmins of his time; but we can still learn from his better side. Among other things, I can tell why Adams’ educational theories are surprisingly relevant in the Internet era. I’m most definitely not Adams, but I like the idea of melding the personal and historical.

—A savvy history professor ran across this site and now has assigned Scandals as required reading (more details to come). Twilight Times Books can arrange for other teachers at the high school or college level to get free evaluation copies, with the option of the actual classroom copies containing a customized study guide. Email me directly and I’ll pass your request to Twilight. Be aware that Scandals serves up salty newsroom language and some mild sex scenes. Scandals probably is not high-school-safe in Mississippi, but may be fit for parts of New York or California and for history, journalism, English or other classes at the college level, most everywhere, at least in the States.

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David Rothman

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