Comment: Mailer's America

Norman Mailer, who has had his literary ups and downs, feels that the national political conventions have "encouraged some of his very best writing." This year's conventions are no exception — they may indeed have encouraged his best. With a minimum of the compulsive self-analysis that has characterized his other work, he re-creates in the November Harper's the events, personalities and mood of Miami Beach and Chicago. His reporting is, as always, intensely personal as it probes the darker, unexplored passageways of American political life. But Mailer — Eastern Seaboard exotic,...