“Hitler’s success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.”
That is just a sampling of the wit and wisdom that could be found in “Deng Xiaoping Is a Chain-Smoking Communist Dwarf” The Sayings of Patrick Buchanan by S. Thomas Colfax, a book released in 1996 as the rightwing religious bigot was making his ill-conceived fumble for the presidency.
I wouldn’t have reason to mention a 15-year-old publication about Buchanan, except that I’ve just learned it was actually the first book written by a now best-selling and award-winning author. “S. Thomas Colfax” was a pseudonym employed to grant anonymity to its two co-authors, both now top reporters at the New York Times.
Both James Risen and John Broder were working for the Los Angeles Times when a Random House editor recruited them to compile a small quickie book of Patrick Buchanan’s more outrageous comments.
The advance offer was generous for such a small job, and both wanted the money, but Broder hesitated because he didn’t want such a simplistic publication to be known as his first effort as an author. And thus S. Thomas Colfax was born.