Reviews > Books
Sprawl: A Compact History by Robert Bruegmann

Bruegmann maintains that there are at least two causes of sprawl in its modern form, increased affluence and the spread of democracy.

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Half/Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes by Laurel Snyder (editor)

For many of the essays, the most heartbreaking moments occur after the child has declared his or herself a Jew, only to be rejected by members of the tribe.

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel by Jonathan Safran Foer

Foer writes on these tragedies with wide-eyed sincerity, undiffused optimism, and his heart on sleeve, without venturing into the mawkish.

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The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors by Ann Gibbons

Ann Gibbons tells the story of human origins and evolution by addressing one of its aspects, the search for the earliest human, that critter who, so long ago, decided not to be a chimp.

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19 Apr 2006 // 12:00 AM

A Bit on the Side: Stories by William Trevor

Trevor's work has long been marked by his ability to merge bleakness and grandeur, to find an aching loveliness in the desolate and the isolated.

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A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller by Frances Mayes

If Tuscany is her brand, then Frances Mayes' most recent literary product, A Year in the World, is the franchise.

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America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy by Francis Fukuyama

If there's a reason to read Francis Fukuyama's denouncement of neo-conservatism over any of the others than line the bookshelves, it's for the simple reason that he is, or at least was, one of them.

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PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives by Frank Warren

Cards bearing messages like 'I love to pee when I'm swimming' could be deceptive emotions, the Internet equivalent of an anonymous prank call.

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10 Apr 2006 // 12:00 AM

Break, Blow, Burn by Camille Paglia

It seems right, somehow, that someone who so enthusiastically embraced pop-culture, and the plethora of images pouring in, now patients us to the slowness and focus required for poetry.

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After the Victorians: The Decline of Britain in the World by A. N. Wilson

After the Victorians executes an especially tricky high-wire act in that Wilson manages to keep the tone engaging and almost intimately cordial without compromising anything in the way of authority.

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Kiss Tomorrow Hello: Notes from the Midlife Underground by Twenty-Five Women Over Forty by Kim Barne

What could be more valuable for a young woman than the learning experiences of those who have gone before?"

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28 Mar 2006 // 12:00 AM

Fascination by William Boyd

Boyd's rendering of dissolution is persuasive precisely because we trust his language: this is how people speak, and this is how people fall apart.

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27 Mar 2006 // 12:00 AM

Adverbs by Daniel Handler

In Handler's world, love is constantly evolving. It is not given away by one to another, but is an action that must be continually performed by both.

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Roots Too: White Ethnic Revival in Post-Civil Rights America by Matthew Frye Jacobson

Being an academic, Jacobson refrains from phrases such as 'rank hypocrisy', though he makes clear the various rhetorical smokescreens and circumlocutions necessary to justify this white racism that calls itself by any other names available.

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Arte Povera by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

With the beautifully designed Arte Povera, Phaidon once again makes art from documentation of art.

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22 Mar 2006 // 12:00 AM

Wired for Chaos by Brett L. Renwick

If Wired for Chaos is not flawed in execution, then maybe it is flawed in vision.

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Think!: Why Crucial Decisions Can’t Be Made in the Blink of an Eye by Michael R. LeGault

'The logical outcome of reality TV is snuff movies,' warns LeGault, quoting the opinion of another analyst without any facts to merit this assumption.

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The Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, and the New Journalism by Marc Weing

Suddenly, the New Journalists became practitioners of what became known as the 'art of fact'.

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17 Mar 2006 // 12:00 AM

Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead

The danger with satire is that real life might be more inherently ridiculous than the satirist's creations.

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White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race i

White Money/Black Power might not make the best Kwanzaa stocking stuffer. But for those interested in understanding the ways philanthropy and politics are inextricably tied to intellectual production and academic projects, this is your book.

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//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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