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!
  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • 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.