Bintel Blog

Eliot Spitzer and Victoria Floethe Celebrate the 'Good Book'

By Amanda Gordon

  • Print
  • Share Share

Slate recently hosted a party to celebrate the transformation of one of its editorial projects, a blog about reading every page of the Bible, by the Web magazine’s editor, David Plotz, into “Good Book,” published last month by Harper. Since Plotz more or less summarizes the Bible in a 21st century vernacular, we thought it’d be fun to summarize his book party with the Bible in mind.

In the beginning there was a man with a clipboard, in a Tribeca lobby, near the banks of the Hudson River, directing the wanderers to the home of Slate Group’s chairman and editor-in-chief, Jacob Weisberg. There, they found the door ajar, ready for Elijah (a no-show, but he’s expected at Passover), and dozens of media folk.

These craftsmen of words came together and supped well in the home of Jacob. They ate grilled cheese with truffle oil and meat rolled up in leaves of arugula. They drank white wine, water and beer. Most of the guests coveted the décor of the home, which Jacob shares with his wife, Deborah and their two children. This Deborah is not the Israelite prophetess, whom Plotz describes in his book as an “awesome role model because of her “courage” and “skillful manipulation of weak men” but rather Deborah Needleman, the American editor who created the magazine Domino, which was shuttered a couple of months ago.

As for commandment-breakers at the party, former New York governor Eliot Spitzer talked with Victoria Floethe for several minutes. Floethe, a writer, has recently found herself in the gossip pages, for her romance with an older, married man, journalist and entrepreneur Michael Wolff. The response has been harsh: one commenter on Gawker even likened her Ashley Dupré, the prostitute with whom Spitzer notoriously cavorted. But Floethe has fought back, something Spitzer himself didn’t have much leeway to do. In a piece in Britain’s Spectator, published the day of the party, she wrote that New York has been “reduced to a horrifyingly captious and moralising small town” worse than Atlanta, her hometown.

While there were a few twitters about the Spitzer sighting, Rachel Sklar refrained from gossip with a tweet at around 8 p.m.: “At Slate book party for David Plotz’s ‘Good Book,’ from his ‘Blogging the Bible.’”

Fellow guest A.J. Jacobs didn’t twitter about the book; he blurbed it. An excerpt: “Trust me, thou shalt enjoy.” His credentials: he is the author of “The Year of Living Biblically,” a book about the one year he spent trying to follow all of the biblical commandments. To which journalist Edward Jay Epstein replied, “You know, if Spitzer had followed [the Ten Commandments], he’d be in Obama’s cabinet right now.”

Writer Rachel Lehmann-Haupt, meanwhile, had thoughts to share about being fruitful and multiplying. She has a book coming out in a few weeks that is a personal and journalistic examination of a woman’s fertility. “In Her Own Sweet Time” includes interviews with many doctors and women. If only she’d been able to interview Sarah, who, had Isaac when she was 90. Plotz’s “Good Book” take on this episode, by the way: “Since three wise men came to Abraham and Sarah and told them she would get pregnant, “the story of the Nativity is a rip-off…. The big difference: We Jews do not have any good songs about this incident.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Victoria Floethe, Jacob Weisberg, Good Book, Eliot Spitzer, David Plotz

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.


Comments
Rachel Lehmann-Haupt Mon. Apr 6, 2009

Thanks for the mention of In Her Own Sweet Time. I'd like to add that when the former Gov asked me what my book was about, I answered: "It's about how no one has sex to get pregnant anymore. Sex is passe." Then I thought: Did I really just say that to him? Luckily, Ed Epstein, immediately stepped in, saying: "Now everybody just pokes on Facebook." Maybe we need a ten commandments of Facebook? - Rachel




Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.