RARA-AVIS: DC nonfiction

From: George Pelecanos ( shoedog1@erols.com)
Date: 11 Dec 2001

Carries asks about good DC nonfiction books. DREAM CITY, by Jaffe and Sherwood, remains the definitive account of our local modern history. It's essential reading for anyone interested in where we're at and how we got here. Some other good books: IN THE SHADOW OF THE WHITE HOUSE, by Mike Tidwell, a street-level look at the crack epidemic from a guy who lived with recovering addicts, and TEN BLOCKS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, by the staff of the Washington Post, which deals with the riots of '68. A guilty pleasure and personal favorite is WASHINGTON CONFIDENTIAL, a tattler-style look at post-war (the Big One) D.C. For it's style and slang alone, this one's an authentic treat for hardboiled aficionados. I found all of these books on used and auction sites.

Mark Blumenthal asks about cops and the carry-rule in D.C. Yes, it's still a requirement that cops carry their service weapons while off-duty. In THE SWEET FOREVER, Murphy does leave his gun in the glove box when he enters that bar. This was a deliberate tip-off to the reader that Murphy was cracking up. At that point in the novel, he is dealing with his corruption by rejecting his role as a police officer; that is, he no longer thinks of himself as a "real" cop, so he doesn't feel the need to obey the rules.

George Pelecanos

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 11 Dec 2001 EST