Thomas Sowell

Novak must have seemed especially Satanic to those politicians whose public image he punctured and whose misdeeds he exposed in his writings -- all based on inside information that he specialized in getting.

In a city full of smiling and glad-handing phonies, Robert Novak tended to keep his distance emotionally from those he reported on, even while he dealt with them face to face, receiving their news leaks and off-the-record comments on what was going on in Washington.

Novak was never that close personally, even with Rowland Evans, who co-authored the Evans and Novak syndicated column that put them both on the map as top-tier journalists.

There are individuals, here and there, in both politics and in the media whose good qualities are recognized in "The Prince of Darkness."

Indeed, many of those who did foolish or terrible things also had some good qualities, which this book points out. Moreover Novak has a few heroes of his own, both in politics and journalism.

While Novak notes in passing some of his own views on particular policy issues, and how those views changed over the years, this is not a book advocating any particular ideology.

While older people with much experience in life may be better able to appreciate this outstanding book, it should be especially valuable to the young in presenting a realistic and three-dimensional picture of the world.

They can get a lot of enlightenment from a prince of darkness.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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