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Documentary ​'For Sama'​ Shows the Courage of Existential Love in War-Torn Syria

For Sama urges the preservation of basic human rights — including the right to parent a child in her birthplace — at all costs, not only for this particular Syrian family's future, but for the survival of the human race.

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Music

Blood and Thunder: Nerds, Dudes, and Noogies

The energetic and convivial shows of Volbeat and Kamelot are reminders that for all the insularity present in extreme metal writing, there's true joy to be found in the popular stuff.

Reviews

Brother Against Brother: The Drawing of the Sword

The game doesn't portray brothers fighting brothers. It shows pieces on a map easing into firing range of one another with the objective of causing more casualties than they suffer.

Reviews

Of Sunlight and Shadows: 'The Civil War and American Art'

This companion book to the sprawling art of the Civil War exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum is a remarkable blend of academic incisiveness and absorbing melodrama. It's also the best art book of 2012.

Reviews

Simple Gifts: Tracy Chevalier's 'The Last Runaway'

Tracy Chevalier's lastest novel takes us to 19th century Ohio, to the town of her alma mater, Oberlin, where a young Quaker woman experiences a moral awakening during the tumultuous ten years before the Civil War.

Reviews

'Mr. Lincoln and The Civil War' Offers Historical Lesson in the Presidency and the Documentary

Artful cinematography is combined with careful, poetic writing to create a compelling and deeply melancholy portrait of one of America's most beloved presidents.

Reviews

'Death and the Civil War' Is an Excellent Account of How America Learned to Handle Death

A vivid adaptation of Drew Gilpin Faust’s acclaimed book This Republic of Suffering, this nearly two-hour documentary is among the best of its kind.

Visual Arts

The Civil War and the Uneasy Fabric of American Identity

America's obsession with the Civil War reveals not-so-invisible wounds that linger to this day in the landscape and the nation's psyche.

Politics

Life During Wartime: Carl Sandburg's Poetry of the Macabre

For every moment of brief tedium in Sandburg’s masterpiece, the master suddenly hits the reader with a scene or a moment that is breathtaking in its prose and cold, dispassionate observation of life during wartime.

Comics

Who Is Henry Pym, and Why Are They Saying Such Terrible Things About Him?

Dan Slott has redeemed the founding Avenger and leader of the "Mighty" team, deftly and expertly removing him from the ghetto of mischaracterized misanthropic anti-heroes just in time for the Heroic Age.

Books

Janes Smiley’s Excellent Prose and Sly Humor are Here in 'Private Life'

Smiley never writes a book without placing her characters amidst upheaval; here it's war, along with scientific advances and technologies like the telephone, the 1906 earthquake, and the Spanish Influenza epidemic.

Film

Little Women: Brilliant Book, Flawed Film

A scene shows Ryder blissfully tying up the manuscript and putting a rose under the string. That's rather like what Armstrong and the screenwriters did to the film: tied it up neatly with a pretty flower.

Books

The Boy Next Door: A Novel by Irene Sabatini

Sabatini’s book exudes an authenticity and warmth that can’t come from an author’s imagination alone, but from a lifetime of listening and observing.

Film

The Unhappy Undead

The Civil War is reenacted on a micro level in Night of the Living Dead. Your neighbors are the real monsters.

John Grassi
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The Golden Rule #4

Musings on the Ethics of Contemporary Journalism


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