"All happy families are like one another; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy.
Apparently there's a some kind of flap about Ann Romney's Pinterest identification of Anna Karenina as one of two books worth reading because, well, the Karenin family was nonchalant about sexual fidelity. As a one-time Russian literature major I feel qualified to weigh in on this question. Imagine, for purposes of evaluating the probative value of this shocking information about Mrs. Romney, the following two cross-examination questions:
Lawyer: Mrs. Romney, you have said that Anna Karenina is a book worth reading. Can we infer from your approval of the novel that you are sympathetic to the main character and have no moral objection to her adulterous behavior?
Lawyer: Mrs. Romney, you have said that Anna Karenina is a book worth reading. In Anna Karenina, all of the several families engaging in infidelity are unhappy, and the main character herself meets a tragic end. Can we infer from your approval of the novel that you agree with Tolstoy that fidelity is the cornerstone of a happy family life?
A confession. I have, in the last 12 months alone, urged friends and acquaintances to read, among others, one or more of the following: 1) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy; 2) Fathers and Sons; and 3) The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. For the record, I do not advocate, nor do I personally engage in: 1) computer hacking and/or mutilation, self- or otherwise; 2) violent revolution; or 3) smuggling.
Photo: Leo Tolstoy, 1908, by Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky, via Wikipedia