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Reviews > Books

Friday, April 4 2014

Une Énigme Politique: ‘A Taste for Intrigue: The Many Lives of François Mitterrand’

Philip Short's book is a masterfully written, sweeping narrative of Mitterrand’s life with decisive, revealing anecdotes and a meticulous chronicling of fact that is remarkable enough to be fiction.


Thursday, April 3 2014

David Dow Is Compassionate Enough to Humanize the World’s Most Hated People

There are a plethora of memoirs and true crime stories to read, but few of them are as eloquent and passionate as Things I’ve Learned from Dying: A Book About Life.


Wednesday, April 2 2014

What Is Permissible in the Name of Science, Wartime Expediency, and National Security?

"Our Germans beat their Germans," someone quipped when Wernher von Braun's team of rocketeers put Americans on the Moon, but Operation Paperclip reveals that US involvement with ex-Nazi scientists was far deeper, and far darker.


Tuesday, April 1 2014

The Freedom to Be: Frédéric Gros’s ‘Philosophy of Walking’

You may not find yourself in lockstep with Frédéric Gros, but you will be glad you made the journey with him.


Monday, March 31 2014

Sex and Inelegance in the City

If Sex in the City had been based on reality, it would have been more like the The Harm in Asking: My Clumsy Encounters with the Human Race.


Friday, March 28 2014

The Industrial Revolution 2.0

We live in a world filled with powerful, compact, networked computers -- a world that those computers are about to transform.


Thursday, March 27 2014

Hearing Isn’t the Only Thing Lost When One Goes Deaf

Writer Katherine Bouton was 30 years old when hearing in her left ear lessened. She did what most people would: she ignored it.


Wednesday, March 26 2014

The Essays in ‘Sex Scene’ Are as Vivid and Provocative as One Would Hope

Sex Scene offers a new angle for examining the "longest revolution", and demonstrates the profound ability of the media to influence how we think, and what we think about.


‘Army of Lovers’ Tells the Tale of a Fearless Love of Community

This innovative and heartfelt 'community history'-style biography reveals what made artist, DJ and community organizer Will Munro into one of Canada's queer icons.


Tuesday, March 25 2014

In Blake Bailey’s ‘The Splendid Things We Planned’, a Family Resembles a Den of Lions

Have you ever wondered why biographer Blake Bailey has chosen to write at length about three notably disturbed men of letters?


Shigeru Mizuki’s ‘Showa’ Is a Melting Pot of Manga, Photo Realism, Memoir & Narrative History

A Japanese period of heightened tension, military marches, and personal discovery.


Monday, March 24 2014

Mavis Staples and Her Pops Helped Get Us There

I'll Take You There is really the biography of a musical family, centering on not one but two life stories: Mavis Staples’, and that of her biggest influence, dear ol' dad.


‘Empress Dowager Cixi’ Makes an Excellent Case for Historical Re-Evaluation

Jung Chang pays tribute to a complex ruler at the crossroads of change, and dispels the rigid caricature that has been portrayed for so long.


Friday, March 21 2014

Is Humankind the New Planet and Species-Destroying Asteroid?

After fighting so long as a Cassandra of the coming ecological catastrophe, Elizabeth Kolbert's latest, The Sixth Extinction, embraces the long view of disaster.


Thursday, March 20 2014

How Critics Misunderstood and Misused a Powerful Idea

Elizabeth Lunbeck's The Americanization of Narcissism describes how this misunderstood concept has been inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture for decades.


‘Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles’ Tries to Speak Truths—But Which Truths?

Ron Currie Jr.'s smart, funny writing is overshadowed by an ambitious reach that falls short.


Wednesday, March 19 2014

O, Lorrie Moore, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

Lorrie Moore resists the current trend of publishing a story collection with a central theme or gimmick. Hers are simply the products of random bolts of inspiration.


A Tale of Two Hauntings: Susan Hill’s ‘The Mist in the Mirror’

A curious manuscript. The specter of a small child. Cold fevers. That's right, it's a ghost story.


Tuesday, March 18 2014

Literary Giant Saadat Hasan Manto Wrote Honestly About Muslims in Bombay

Manto was no Charles Bukowski with a tendency to excoriate the perils of the female flesh, nor Alifa Rifaat, who wrote frankly about female desire and lust; he created his own world where women were not victims.


Monday, March 17 2014

‘The Creative Class’ Rises Again

Richard Florida is one-upping Karl Marx, casting the creative class as the rightful inheritors of the fruits of the Earth.


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