Just finished The Secret Agent, Joseph Conrad's only book set in London. It's quite short; I have mixed feelings about it, but at least it didn't take long to plow through. The first two-thirds, I thought, were a bit slow, but the end was quite nice, provocative. Not much more to say about it, so on with the quotes, which to me seem particularly applicable to American politics.
"To see [his ambition] thwarted opened his eyes to the true nature of the world, whose morality was artifical, corrupt, and blasphemous. The way of even the most justifiable revolutions is prepared by personal impulses disguised into creeds."
"She lamented aloud her love of life, that life without grace or charm, and almost without decency, but of an exalted faithfulness of purpse, even unto murder. And, as often happens in the lament of poor humanity, rich in suffering but indigent in words, the truth -- the very cry of truth -- was found in a worn and artificial shape picked up somewhere among the phrases of sham sentiment."