This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan at NPR West today. We'll bring you the latest on Libya and Egypt later this hour, after the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and an attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo, where a mob took down the American flag.
Author Michael Lewis made a radical request to the White House that he says he was almost certain would be denied: He wanted to write a piece about President Obama that would put the reader in the president's shoes.
To do this, the Vanity Fair contributing editor would need inside access. So what did he propose?
Every New York story ever written or filmed falls into one of two categories. The first — like Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, or the musical On the Town — regards New York as the representativeAmerican city, a jam-packed distillation of the country's dreams and nightmares.The second group views New York as a foreign place — a city off the coast of the U.S. mainland that somehow drifted away from Paris or Mars. Think every Manhattan movie ever made by Woody Allen.