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The Democrat as novelist

Posted by Jim Concannon  November 8, 2006 02:19 PM

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And so the fate of any remaining GOP congressional control hangs by a slim thread: the thistight US Senate race between Republican George Allen and Democrat James Webb. If Webb is declared the winner in Virginia, the Democrats will control both congressional branches for the first time in more than a decade.

So what does this have to do with books? Well, Webb is a tough, larger-than-life original who has a resume -- Naval Academy grad, Marine officer, lawyer, assistant Defense secretary, secretary of the Navy, and screenwriter -- that reads like something out of pulp fiction. And, in fact, Webb has written half a dozen military novels ("The Emperor's General," "Fields of Fire," "Lost Soldiers," "A Sense of Honor," "A Country Such as This," "Something to Die For") and one nonfiction book ("Born Fighting, How the Scots-Irish Shaped America").

"Fields of Fire," Webb's best-known book, was good enough for author Tom Wolfe to call it "the finest of the Vietnam novels." Now, with public interest lasering in on his pivotal Senate race, the eclectic Webb has found his book sales rising, with "Fields of Fire" suddenly selling in the 200 range on Amazon.com.

All politics is local, and some book sales are political.

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