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December 28, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
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A Writer for All Time

Two new volumes—a biography and an anthology—shine light on G.K. Chesterton, an inhabitant of the twilight realm of the praised but unread.

Posted on Sep 30, 2011 READ MORE


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Disasters Merging

Catastrophic convergence, the “collision of political, economic, and environmental disasters,” is the theme of Christian Parenti’s epic new book, “Tropic of Chaos.”

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 READ MORE



The Muslim World Brings Forth a Counter-Jihad

Robin Wright’s new book, “Rock the Casbah,” surveys the people of Islam a decade after 9/11 and finds they have turned not toward extremism but moderation.

Posted on Sep 16, 2011 READ MORE



A Dud From ‘Darth’

As I mentioned to friends when I started reading Dick Cheney’s memoir, I was doing it so others would not have to. And, as a precaution, I did it alone in case my head exploded. It did not. This book is a bomb, but not the exploding kind.

Posted on Sep 8, 2011 READ MORE



Iraq and Afghanistan on Stage

“Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays,” edited by Karen Malpede, Michael Messina and Bob Shuman, steps into the moral vacuum left by politicians, corporations and religious leaders.

Posted on Sep 2, 2011 READ MORE



Happy 50th, ‘Catch-22’

Joseph Heller’s brilliant satire on the absurdities of war and bureaucracy has hit the half-century mark. Commemorating the anniversary are the first full-scale biography of the novelist and a more personal project by his daughter.

Posted on Aug 26, 2011 READ MORE



The Con’s on David Mamet

The author-playwright-filmmaker’s most recent book, “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture,” is an irrational and reactionary diatribe about what’s wrong with liberals. Humorless too. Talk about a loss for America.

Posted on Aug 18, 2011 READ MORE



The Head of the Dragon

Beijing in summer 2008 was in the whirl of pre-Olympics madness, and Tom Scocca’s “Beijing Welcomes You” recounts the absurdities and peculiarities of an ancient city caught between its past and its future as the capital of an emerging global power.

Posted on Aug 12, 2011 READ MORE



The Examination of Evil

Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton’s new book is more a professional than a personal memoir. “Witness to an Extreme Century” is structured around the four topics that have occupied him most: thought reform, Hiroshima survivors, Vietnam veterans, and the Nazi doctors.

Posted on Aug 4, 2011 READ MORE



‘Lost Horizon’ for American Ovaries

Ann Patchett’s sixth novel, “State of Wonder,” poses a provocative question: If, ladies, you could preserve your fertility into your 50s, 60s or even later, would you?

Posted on Jul 28, 2011 READ MORE


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