Using a Writer’s Tools

May 9, 2016 | 2

“I don’t know anymore where I begin and Obama ends.” Go and check out this fascinating profile of Ben Rhodes, the “Boy Wonder of the Obama Whitehouse,” who dropped out of his second year at NYU’s M.F.A. program after witnessing the attacks on September 11th to take up a life of international affairs and foreign policy. When asked about whom he would choose write the story of his work life, Rhodes picked novelist Don DeLillo: “He is the only person I can think of who has confronted these questions of, you know, the individual who finds himself negotiating both vast currents of history and a very specific kind of power dynamics. That’s his milieu. And that’s what it’s like to work in the U.S. foreign-policy apparatus in 2016.”

is an intern for The Millions. He reads and resides in North Carolina. Brian can be found on Twitter @jbetling, and in the real world behind the counter of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, NC.


  1. Tools like this don’t deserve a DeLillo. They deserve a Clancy. Your life isn’t that interesting, dude.

  2. Amen, brother. Plus: I sort of hate it when mainstream political propaganda sneaks its way into Lit Chat. Tools of that ilk should just collect their pay-checks and stop wanting to be admired on top of it.

    “And that’s what it’s like to work in the U.S. foreign-policy apparatus in 2016.”

    You mean at the spotless end of the blood-letting juggernaut?

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