I think I could be really satisfied having a career like Doris Kearns Goodwin.
She basically pours years into a historical subject – the relationship between William Howard Taft and Teddy Roosevelt, for instance – and then writes a massive 900-page book about it that wins Peabody Awards and Nobel Prizes.
Her professional life is almost entirely demarcated by what she’s studying, and I’m not crazy about the idea of only having something like five books to show for my entire career, but diving into a historical subject that deeply, divining out the truth from the apocryphal crap, sounds massively appealing.
Goodwin’s not alone; she has a bunch of contemporaries that do essentially the same thing, and I wonder if they ever get together and plan out their topics, so two of them aren’t both studying Lewis and Clark a for eight years.
But ever since I saw her consistently hold her own on Colbert, she’s my favorite. Although she did become a gentle punchline every time a segment took a raunchy turn – “Once again, my apologies to Doris Kearns Goodwin.”
I guess the impetus for all this is the constant barrage of brick walls I keep running into as I continue my quest to track down that stupid Chris Engler block from weeks ago. I know I should probably give up. At this point, everyone else is over it.
But I can’t stand the feeling of leaving an itch unscratched.