"More than 60 percent of the American people don't trust the press. Why should they? They've been reading 'The Da Vinci Code' and marveling at its historical insights. I have nothing against a fine thriller, especially one that claims the highest of literary honors: it's a movie on the page. But 'The Da Vinci Code' is not a work of nonfiction. If one more person talks to me about Dan Brown's crackerjack research I'm shooting on sight.
The novel's success does point up something critical. We're happier to swallow a half-baked Renaissance religious conspiracy theory than to examine the historical fiction we're living (and dying for) today."
In a guest column in the NYT, Stacy Schiff opines: