Thursday, 14 May 2009


Isn't it amazing what you find on the Internet when you aren't looking for it?

I'm currently reading Madame Secretary, the memoirs of Madeleine Albright. I decided I wanted to go back to reading women's biographies, but couldn't remember how far I'd gotten, so I started back in the A's. Before Madeleine, I read Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece, an authorised biography of Queen Elizabeth's mother in law.

Madeleine is of course originally from Prague and what she writes about the place and of course all the people she's worked with is wonderfully fascinating. It's an easy read, a real page-turner. It's like having a review of most of the major historical events during my life, things I don't tend to pay much attention to when they are happening, but felt guilty that I didn't. I'm getting a chance to catch up!

Anyhow, she wrote that her husband, Joe, left her for another woman, but at some point seemed undecided. He told her that, having been nominated, if he won the Pulitzer Prize he would stay with her, if not he would leave. It made me wonder if he'd ever won it (apparently not to date) and what he was doing now. He came from a fabulously wealthy family, including the Guggenheims and Katherine Graham, whose autobiography I started but put down at some point when a spot of lighter reading distracted me. I'll definitely go pick it up again now.

Seems he and his wife, Marcia Kunstel, live on a dude ranch in Wyoming, one inherited from another of his wealthy relatives. I Googled her name, as Wikipedia didn't have anything to say about her. This led me to a website that reports political contributions by name, amount, recipient, zipcode, state. If you want to know how much celebrities have contributed, it's there (if they gave permission). Amazingly, Bill Gates and Donald Trump seem to divide their money pretty evenly between the Democrats and the Republicans. It's a fun site to look at -- the numbers are so big!

And while I'm here, I cannot resist showing you

the Municipal Building. Madeleine mentions

having a meeting in there and it reminded me of

this fantastic place. It is a Mucha design and

must be the most beautiful building I've ever been inside. I'm certain I'm not the only one who thinks that.

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