Gail Collins

On The New York Times’ op-ed page, some prefer the correctives of Krugman, others the bromides of Brooks, and even a few may still defend the inanities of Dowd, but Gail Collins has been the best new addition in years. She’s not cute in her writing, she’s never stuffy or a scold, and she always addresses the issues with a bemused, over-the-backyard-fence conversational tone. That centrist sensibility runs through her When Everything Changed (Back Bay, $15.99), which traces the political path of American women from the early feminism of the Mad Men era to today’s Sarah Palin phenomenon. And Palin, of course, is the columnist’s best friend. When she resigned from the Alaska governor’s office last year (her chartered jet waiting on the runway), Collins gibed, “‘Life is about choices!’ declared the nation’s most anti-choice politician.” And earlier this year: “Palin is living proof that you can be popular without having to try very hard.” And don’t even get her started on Christine O’Donnell. BRIAN MILLER

Mon., Oct. 11, 7 p.m., 2010

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