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Friday, December 15, 2017
Book Review
Supporters of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders react to primary election results during a campaign rally in Phoenix

What We Get Wrong About Presidential Power

In “Listen, Liberal” the author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? mounts a scathing indictment of the Clintons and their Democratic Party.

April 25, 2016

Book Review: ‘Notorious RBG’ Explores The Legacy Of ‘An Underestimated Woman’

‘Notorious RBG,’ in its celebration of the trailblazing Supreme Court Justice, glosses over some of the hardships she faced.

November 23, 2015
Book review on Donald Trump’s Crippled America

Book Review: Trump’s Sloppy, Illogical ‘Crippled America’ Is A Jumble Of Contradictions

David Cay Johnston reviews Donald Trump’s latest release, which is less a book than it is “a jumble of contradictions and thoughts that have not yet reached the half-baked stage.”

November 7, 2015

In ‘A Full Life,’ Jimmy Carter At 90 Remains A Wise Truth Teller

Jimmy Carter lets us down. Not with his new book — a warm and detailed memoir — but with his response to the question “Does the arc of history bend toward justice?”

July 24, 2015

‘Art Of The Con’ Paints Revealing Picture Of Scammed Collectors

There is something irresistible about that point where art and crime intersect: the money, the egos, the jet-set country club types — not to mention all the talk about provenance and brush strokes and craquelure.

July 19, 2015

Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set A Watchman’ Reveals A Darker Side Of Maycomb

It would be a mistake to read Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman as a sequel to her 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird. There are many points of divergence or overlap between the novels, which are related in a complicated way.

July 19, 2015

Nixon Agonistes — His Tainted Legacy Still Overshadows The Nation

Richard Nixon’s chief legacy is a pattern of presidential abuse of power from which our country is still recovering.

July 12, 2015

‘Death And Mr. Pickwick’ — A Novel Rich Enough For Dickens To Steal

Calling Dickens’ authorial claim “the greatest literary hoax in history,” Jarvis weaves a staggering amount of research into a gripping, fictionalized presentation of his emphatically non-fictional argument: Dickens stole both the concept as well as various scenes and characters in Pickwick.

July 5, 2015

‘The Ferguson Report’ Offers A Damning Indictment

The timing couldn’t be more appropriate: Last week, barely five days after Dylann Storm Roof allegedly killed nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Justice Department’s The Ferguson Report, first made public in March, came out in book form.

July 5, 2015

Milan Kundera’s ‘Festival Of Insignificance’ On Being And Smallness

There’s not much to Milan Kundera’s 10th novel, The Festival of Insignificance — his first work of fiction since 2000’s Ignorance — but then that’s part of the point.

June 28, 2015

‘The Great War Of Our Time’ Goes Inside The CIA, To A Point

In his book The Great War of Our Time, former CIA deputy Director Michael Morell explains the blunder that led to Saddam Hussein being deposed and sent him into hiding in a spider hole.

June 21, 2015

Book Review: ‘Dreamland: The True Tale Of America’s Opiate Epidemic’

Dreamland is a tale of two artificial and highly permeable membranes. One separates legal and illegal drugs, the other Mexico and the United States.

June 14, 2015
The Wright Brothers

Book Review: David McCullough’s ‘The Wright Brothers’ Takes Flight

David McCullough’s new book on the brothers brings them into sharper focus, and their story — one of thoughtful study, rigorous scientific experimentation and calm persistence, founded on sober Midwestern values — is worth knowing.

June 7, 2015

Book Review: ‘Here Comes The Night: The Dark Soul Of Bert Berns And The Dirty Business Of Rhythm And Blues’

‘Here Comes the Night’ by Joel Selvin is the story of Bert Berns, an R&B producer whose “name may be lost, but his music is everywhere.”

May 31, 2015

Book Review: ‘Guantánamo Diary’ By Mohamedou Ould Slahi

Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, wrote a 466-page memoir from his cell, which is a hellish account of perpetual torture.

May 17, 2015

The Long Sixties: What Did We Know, And When Did We Know It?

If there are lessons to be extracted from these three books, they have as much to do with the dangers of elite consensus as with those of dissent.

May 10, 2015

Neurologist Oliver Sacks Describes His Fascinating Life In ‘On The Move’

As this memoir makes clear, the Oliver Sacks truly contains multitudes: The compassionate scientist who travels to Mexico to look at ferns has also been a motorbike buff, competitive weightlifter, and, in the past, a drug abuser.

May 3, 2015

Nick Cave Goes The Distance With ‘The Sick Bag Song’

Nick Cave has long operated in a particular rock ‘n’ roll tradition: that of the poete maudite. Patti Smith, Jim Morrison, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan — these are some of the analogues to Cave’s creative posture. Not surprisingly, like all of them, he has not only made music but also written books.

April 26, 2015

‘Marching Home’: Veterans of Civil War Faced Struggles Similar To Those Of Today’s Soldiers

In a way, the “boys in blue and gray” also still live with us in the experiences of veterans returning home from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Caring for those who have borne the battle and for their families remains an urgent task.

April 19, 2015

Book Review: ‘One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America’

In ‘One Nation Under God,’ historian Kevin Kruse argues that the current state of religion’s entanglement in our politics is not the product of piety, but of corporate lobbying, religious pitchmen, and Hollywood stagecraft.

April 12, 2015

Book Review: ‘They Know Everything About You’

In his sharp new book, Robert Scheer exposes the bipartisan alliance that undermines American civil liberties.

March 29, 2015
Author Susan Berman and Robert Durst, who has been charged with her murder. (HBO)

The Literary Life (And Death) Of Susan Berman, Alleged Robert Durst Victim

As Robert Durst prepares to stand trial for her murder, revisit Susan Berman’s literary work.

March 21, 2015

Book Review: ‘The Utopia Of Rules’

Americans think they hate bureaucracy. They’re wrong.

March 15, 2015

Book Review: ‘Why Acting Matters’

Why is the art of acting so important to Americans and to our culture? David Thomson explores the mysteries of our favorite craft in his beguiling new book.

March 8, 2015

‘It’s What I Do’ A War-Zone Photographer’s Harrowing Memoir

In her new memoir, ‘It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War.’ photographer Lynsey Addario discusses her experience working in war zones, and makes a powerful case for the importance of the war correspondents.

February 27, 2015