If the author James Grant was a Japanese citizen, he could be declared a National Living Treasure for his status as guru of bonds and the founding editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer. Alas, he lives in Brooklyn, and we in America have no such honor to bestow on him. I was fortunate to come upon he and his wife Patricia strolling down a Brooklyn avenue this past Sunday.
“Good afternoon Mr. & Mrs. Grant, how nice to see you out and about. May I ask an impertinent question?”
Mrs. Grant replys, “Of course you may and I think I know the question. You want to know how my husband turned a pig’s ear into such a beautiful purse as I now display.”
“No ma’am, I see it is still a pig’s ear; what I want to know is why he bothered with it in the first place.”
The conversation seemed to turn less cordial at this moment, so I made a hasty departure. The question, however, remains. What do you expect to find at a pig farm or during the swinish Gilded Age in America? What do you expect to achieve that evaded John Singer Sargent when he painted a portrait of Thomas B. Reed?
Grant’s Mr. Speaker! The Life and Times of Thomas B. Reed, The Man Who Broke the Filibuster tries very hard to make him interesting and worthy of our respect. Charles Marlin