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April 26, 2015
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Jon Rawlinson (CC-BY)

Not Only Slavery, but AIDS Too

Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin suggest in their new book, “Tinderbox,” that colonialists’ aggressive trade practices opened new travel routes in central Africa that helped spread a disease rooted in a dense forest to the world beyond.

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 READ MORE


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Slouching Toward Washington

Mark Edward Taylor’s “Branding Obamessiah: The Rise of an American Idol” lays out the six sacred branding strategies—taken from the world of advertising—used to turn a mere mortal from Chicago into the image of an American savior.

Posted on Apr 12, 2012 READ MORE



Why Is the Measure of Love Loss?

“When my mother was angry with me, which was often,” writes Jeanette Winterson in her new memoir “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?,” “she said, ‘The devil led us to the wrong crib.’ ”

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 READ MORE



Would You Like Sugar and Fat With That?

Tracie McMillan, author of “The American Way of Eating,” goes undercover in grocery stores, restaurants and the country’s agricultural fields to find out why it’s so hard for us to eat healthy food.

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 READ MORE



Decade of the Living Dead

“Zombie Banks: How Broken Banks and Debtor Nations Are Crippling the Global Economy” is a grisly and horrifying true story of bloodsucking, flesh-eating, life-destroying fiends.

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 READ MORE



Culture or Neurons?

What accounts for our species’ self-consciousness and awareness of our mortality, for our impulses to create art, to cling to our memories of childhood, to believe in a deity? Two new books suggest distinct approaches to such elemental questions.

Posted on Mar 8, 2012 READ MORE



Surviving History

What would it be like to discover Anne Frank, that most beloved and celebrated victim of the Holocaust, living in your attic?

Posted on Mar 2, 2012 READ MORE



Shining India

The raw pathos of the characters in “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity” is of the kind usually found in great fiction, except in Katherine Boo’s book, they’re real people.

Posted on Feb 24, 2012 READ MORE



This Gay Man Represented the President

James C. Hormel’s transformation from a confused and closeted gay kid to the nation’s first openly gay ambassador is chronicled in his memoir “Fit to Serve.”

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 READ MORE



Political Divide

Are voters as polarized as their elected officials? The question, which has serious implications in an election year, has put political scientists at loggerheads in several new and recent books.

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 READ MORE


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