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Three Novels That Knocked Me Out

As Virginia Woolf said in describing the library of her elusive character Jacob, “anyone who’s worth anything reads just what he likes, as the mood takes him, and with extravagant enthusiasm.” I offer you the following three novels with extravagant enthusiasm.

Posted on Nov 12, 2010 READ MORE


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Big Thumbs Up for Scheer’s ‘Stickup’

We here at Truthdig know that our own Robert Scheer really wishes that he didn’t have to write his latest book “The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street,” but ... (continued)

Posted on Oct 20, 2010 READ MORE



Buddhists at War

Have you heard about Vakkali, the Buddhist sage who attained Nirvana while slicing his own throat? Of all the major faith traditions, Buddhism is often seen as the most peaceful, but “Buddhist Warfare” exposes its darker side.

Posted on Oct 8, 2010 READ MORE



Jonathan Franzen in Womanland

“Freedom” is about something important, but the hubbub about how the critical establishment favors male literary writers like Franzen is also significant. Why has everyone cared so much? Because fiction matters.

Posted on Sep 30, 2010 READ MORE



Tony Blair’s Journey

When a high-profile politician is in office, self-disclosure comes at too high a price, however carefully orchestrated it might be. But now that Blair has left 10 Downing Street, the former British prime minister is telling his story—and trying to protect his legacy—in a new memoir.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



The Dylan in All of Us

You have every right to pick up “Bob Dylan in America” with skepticism—or at least you would if you didn’t know how deep Sean Wilentz’s background in traditional American music goes.

Posted on Sep 10, 2010 READ MORE



A Study of the Worldly Art of Jazz

Developing an appreciation for jazz is partly a matter of understanding how it is influenced by other forces of life, as this review of a new book by Gary Giddins and Scott DeVeaux notes, and how the music plays—and breaks—with form.

Posted on Sep 3, 2010 READ MORE



Norman Podhoretz in Black and White

Norman Birnbaum, the noted sociologist and thinker, analyzes two worthy new books, by Thomas L. Jeffers and Benjamin Balint, on the longtime editor of Commentary and the magazine he shaped.

Posted on Aug 20, 2010 READ MORE



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Nigel Warburton on Why Video Games Are Good

In Tom Chatfield’s “Fun Inc.,” the case is made that far from corrupting popular culture and turning its addicted users into “blinking lizards,” video games can help us be happier and live better.

Posted on Aug 13, 2010 READ MORE



Larry Blumenfeld on Nat Hentoff

A new collection of writings by one of America’s greatest self-described Jewish atheists distills the essence of his half-century defense of civil liberties and jazz—the nation’s most original and influential art.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 READ MORE


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