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BOOK REVIEW


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Eve Pell on Old Money and Its Discontents

Tad Friend’s vivid memoir offers an insider’s guide to the peculiar anthropological habits of America’s now nearly extinct WASP ruling establishment.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE


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Joel Kotkin on California’s Golden Age

Kevin Starr’s newest volume in his magisterial series on California examines the dream of endless prosperity that was, for a time, synonymous with the American dream.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 READ MORE


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Benjamin R. Barber on Alan Wolfe’s ‘The Future of Liberalism’

Can liberalism be rescued from those who equate it with treason, terrorism, evil and even a mental disorder?

Posted on Sep 11, 2009 READ MORE


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Steve Oney on John Buntin’s ‘L.A. Noir’

A rare combination of bravura storytelling and social history, “L.A. Noir” will delight fans of hard-boiled film and fiction even as it challenges the myths of 20th century Los Angeles.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


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Eric Lax on Elia Kazan

Whatever one thinks of his politics, Elia Kazan was inarguably one of the 20th century’s greatest Broadway and Hollywood directors. A new book reveals the master at work.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


Losing the News

Chris Hedges on Alex S. Jones’ ‘Losing the News’

Are we entering an age in which the electronic image, endowed with the ability to manufacture its own reality, is hurling us into a state of collective self-delusion? Welcome to a brave new post-literate world where we confuse how we are made to feel with knowledge.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE



Richard Flacks on Pete Seeger

Now 90 years old, America’s exemplary troubadour continues his lifelong project to agitate and organize through song, fulfilling his father’s dictum that “Music, as any art, is not an end in itself, but is a means for achieving larger ends.”

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE



Frederic Raphael on Socrates

Was Socrates an atheist, a guru to a strange sect and an elitist corrupting the youth of a democratic Athens defeated in the Peloponnesian War, as his accusers successfully charged? A new book by Robin Waterfield seeks to dispel the myths about “Why Socrates Died.”

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 READ MORE



Larry Blumenfeld on New Orleans After Katrina

Why are New Orleanians—along with people from all over the world who continue to flock there—so devoted to a place that was, even before the storm, the most corrupt, impoverished and violent corner of America? “Nine Lives” by Dan Baum helps provide an answer.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE



Warren I. Cohen on Obama’s Foreign Policy Challenges

The daunting problems Bush’s successor has inherited may prove all but insurmountable as he makes his way through a thicket of difficulties—the nuclear ambitions of authoritarian regimes, the quagmire of Mesopotamia and the persistent bloodletting in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to name only the most prominent. A recent book by David E. Sanger, a longtime foreign affairs correspondent for The New York Times, offers a close-up look at the world Obama confronts.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


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