iObámanos! : The Birth of a New Political Era

Hendrik Hertzberg (Author)
Dick Hill (Narrator)
Penguin Press, 2009

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Hendrik Hertzberg watched the long presidential campaign of 2007 and 2008 as it unfolded to reveal the transformation of the Democratic Party, the faltering second stage of the Clinton dynasty, the meteoric rise of Barack Obama, and other seismic shifts in our national political consciousness.

Hertzberg wrote about the events that culminated in the victory of Barack Obama in two venues, one Olympian and one immediate: his opening "Comment" essays for "The Talk of the Town" and the informal blog he began keeping on the magazine's website a year and a half before the election. ¡Obámanos! (the title comes from a sign Hertzberg saw on a dusty road not far from Santa Fe) is adapted from both and framed by a new introductory essay.

¡¡Obámanos!! brings to vivid life the buildup to and events of a general election that was the first in more than half a century in which no incumbent president or vice president was on the ballot. He subjects Bush senior's second term to a thorough examination, then hits the road to follow the primary campaign to succeed him. He profiles the central political players and rising stars, while also looking at the issues that emerged as critical during the debates, such as health care, the war in Iraq, and the economic crisis. Through his documentation and analysis of the campaign's defining moments, we come to understand the current political landscape in a whole new way.

Hertzberg's voice combines sharp observation, historical perspective, analytic power, and often hilarious polemic. He brings all these qualities to his chronicle of one of the most intense, exciting, and surprising campaigns in the nation's history, sharing how most Americans—including New Yorker editors - came to identify a junior senator from Illinois as "a leader temperamentally, intellectually, and emotionally attuned to the complexities of our troubled globe". ¡Obámanos! heralds a new chapter in American politics.


“Hertzberg has a novelist’s control of metaphor and a comedian’s gift for the one-liner.” (read full review here)

– JONATHAN FREEDLAND, The New York Times Book Review


Harper’s Magazine Blog, ¡Obámanos!: Six Questions for Hendrik Hertzberg, by Scott Horton. November 25, 2009

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One Million

Hendrik Hertzberg (Author)
2009, 1970

Available on: AMAZON

Originally published by Simon & Schuster in 1970, One Million has been reissued twice—in 1993 by Times Books and in 2009 by Abrams Image. Its creator, at the time a “Talk of the Town” reporter at The New Yorker, was originally inspired by a journalistic impulse to make a newsworthy, large, endlessly repeated yet rather abstract number more concrete for people. To that end, he imagined a book in which each of 200 pages features five thousand dots. Flipping through it gives the “reader” a concrete idea of just how many a million is. Just for fun, on each page, a dot or two is called out from its place in numerical order with a little smidgen of statistical information. A charming introductory essay explores, among other things, the history and variety of number systems (they’re not all based on ten) and the author’s friend Carl Sagan’s plan for a one-way trip to a couple of million years in the future.

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Politics : Observations and Arguments, 1966-2004

Hendrik Hertzberg (Author)
David Remnick (Introduction)
Penguin Press, 2004

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An analysis of American politics from the presidency of Johnson to the present is arranged in such themes as campaigns, the media, and wars, in a volume that draws on the author's work as a winner of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence to illuminate particular events in modern history. 35,000 first printing.


"The point is this: that for those of us who are always looking for a clear voice, an engaged, spirited, sometimes irate, yet lucid voice, these essays are pay dirt.... It's exhilarating to read Hertzberg."

- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Indispensable ... Read him for the cleverness and elegance with which he makes his points, and for the profound reasonableness that he reminds you lies at the heart of liberalism."

- The Washington Post

Advance Praise for Hendrik Hertzberg’s Politics:

“For the past dozen years, and with the increasing prominence, Hendrik Hertzberg has been the principal political voice of The New Yorker. But the voice has always been his own. It is a remarkable voice: at once courteous and ferocious, seductive and caustic, tender and urbane. As an analyst of American public life Hertzberg is logical, humane, and morally acute; as a writer he has tone control the way Billie Holiday had tone control.”

— DAVID REMNICK, from the introduction

“Hertzberg is among the very best: no bellicosity, no moral righteousness, no silly punditry—just the intellectual scrupulosity, the innate skepticism, the uncommon journalistic modesty, the unfailing common sense, the strong sentences, the wit, and the dedication to justice and fair play.”


Politics is invaluable for all sorts of reasons—chief among them being decades of elegant writing in the service of surgical intelligence.”


“For Americans interested in the moral and political temper of the republic over the last forty crazy years, Hendrik Hertzberg’s Politics is a fascinating book—astute, illuminating, and witty.”


“Rick Hertzberg is the most eloquent defender of mainstream American liberalism writing today. Combining passion and common sense, he makes the liberal case on issue after issue seem not just true but obviously true. He makes you wonder: how could any sane person think otherwise?”


“Whenever I read something Hendrik Hertzberg, like this book for example, my heart goes all aflutter, like a little girl’s. Is it because his ideas are so strong and manly? Or is it because his prose is so smooth and suave? I can’t tell, I’m too confused. You decide.”


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