George and Laura

Oh, goodness: Apparently writer Andersen has dropped the “Hans Christian.” Nevertheless, this is a fairy tale straight out of the “Chairman Mao swims the broad Yangzte” school of official hagio-graphy, and it appears in time for the holidays, to compete with other Vaseline-lensed tomes. It begins with the official Republican National Committee version of Bush’s browned-shorts scramble to Nebraska on 9/11 and lurches predictably downhill from there. After numerous pages of characters and dialogue worthy of a Franklin W. Dixon or Carolyn Keene (come on, Hans, these are real people, not cardboard stand-ups), I skipped to the back to look for references to “pretzels” or “Rold Gold.” No such luck. Unfortunately, given the “If I was a dictator” pronouncements of one of this book’s subjects, I suspect we won’t see anything that more closely approximates reality in our lifetimes. Get over it, right?