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The rest of my reading year

— feeling shocked
Law in American History, Volume III: 1930-2000 - G. Edward White

Is it possible to feel proud of oneself and like an idiot at the same time? Because that's how I feel right now.


Ever since I resumed my interviewing, I've contemplated reaching out to G. Edward White to offer an interview about his latest book. For me he's in the category of authors of whom interviewing would be a tremendous honor for me. He's a giant in the field of American legal history who has written some truly excellent books, including (as a co-author) a volume in the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise. His new book is the final volume of a trilogy he has been working on for over a decade summarizing the history of American law from colonial times to the present. Simply put, interviewing people like him about books like that is the main reason why I took on this podcasting gig in the first place. Plus, interviewing him for a podcast would spare me the expense of buying a copy, so there's that.


My initial plan was to contact White after I returned from my summer trip to England. My internet service issues threw a wrench into that, though, so when my access improved I considered the issue again. Finally I sent him an email last week; to my pleasant surprise he was happy to participate, and in less than a week (Oxford is awesome like this) a copy arrived in my mailbox. And it is huge. At over a thousand pages, it's a positive brick of a book, crammed full of a lifetime of learning and lived experience with the law (White clerked for Earl Warren, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, back in the 1960s, so this volume covers a lot of what he witnessed firsthand).


And that's why I'm pleased with myself and kicking myself at the same time, because I don't know how I'm going to master it in time for our interview. I have at least three books ahead of it which will be nowhere hear as difficult to cover, but they will take time. More problematic is my review of Glantz's book on the battle of Belorussia during the Second World War, which is almost as large and for which I need to produce a 1000-word review in a little more than a week. And of course there's the reviewing for my own website, which I'm trying to let slip so as to try to generate steady traffic. And of course there's the life stuff on top of all that, which is going to take up a bigger chunk of my free time as the holidays approach.


Why do I do this to myself?