Biographer Richard Zoglin tells Bob Hope’s story in authoritative detail. But his real mission is to explain and to counter the collapse of Hope’s cultural status, a decline that began well before his death and accelerated posthumously.
In any given presidential campaign, there exists what we might call an “issues palette”—an underlying set of public concerns that seems likely to end up being what the race is fundamentally about. The 2016 election appears destined to be about the condition of the middle class, the issue of wage stagnation, and the recognition (finally) that the American economy has been working far better for those at the top than for those in the middle or, obviously, on the bottom. But in recent books by likely GOP presidential contenders, one hardly encounters the word “wages.”