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Saturday, February 5

Economist: Bush Has Love Affair With Sharansky

Yet for the past few months this paragon of good ol' boy common sense has been infatuated with a book about an abstract noun by a Jewish intellectual. Mr Bush recommends Natan Sharansky's “The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror” (Public Affairs) to almost everyone he meets (including Condoleezza Rice, who mentioned the book during her opening remarks at her Senate confirmation hearing). Nine days after winning re-election he spent over an hour discussing the book in the White House with Mr Sharansky himself. The meeting must have sounded extraordinary, given Mr Sharansky's thick Russian accent and Mr Bush's Texan drawl. But by all accounts they got on famously.

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