THE PRESIDENCY by HUGH SIDEY: Subtle Joys of Being in the Court

In the days of Louis XIV, a summons to the King's court brought the men and women of consequence tumbling out of the boudoirs and the countinghouses and off the battlefields for the required rituals of obeisance and jollity that the Sun King needed for self-assurance. Louis, it was said, worshipped God, and all the others worshipped him.

It is a long journey from Versailles to the White House, but it is worth a thought or two on how power retains its old rewards through centuries and civilizations. Last week the President of the...

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