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War of the Whales


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BOOK REVIEW

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The Balloonist

MacDonald Harris is a writer “too good to be neglected,” writes Philip Pullman in the introduction to this reissue of Harris’ highly original 1976 novel “The Balloonist.” Set in 1897, it follows a middle-aged Swedish aeronaut as he aims to sail over the Arctic in a balloon to the North Pole.

Posted on Jan 23, 2013 READ MORE


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Game Over

Dave Zirin, in “Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down,” returns to his favorite topics: race, gender, unions, the corporatization and corruption of sports, and athletes willing to speak out on any of the above.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 READ MORE



Hallucinations

Oliver Sacks’ graceful and informative new book, “Hallucinations,” explores the surprising ways in which our brains call up simulated realities that are almost indistinguishable from normal perceptions.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 READ MORE



A Heart of Gold

Since the founding of America, bankers have been a bit of a problem. Perhaps more so, J.R. Moehringer seems to say in his new novel “Sutton,” than the honest, hardworking bank robber.

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 READ MORE



Bin Laden of the Indian Wars

Author Robert M. Utley’s account of the elusive Geronimo is a fascinating but sometimes frustrating story.

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 READ MORE



A World Without Words

Georgina Harding’s “Painter of Silence” is a disturbing portrait of war, seen through the eyes of a deaf artist.

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 READ MORE



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Understanding Economics in Plain English

Fedspeak, vague and convoluted answers to economic questions, was popularized by Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006. It allowed him to essentially say “no comment” without admitting that he was avoiding questions.

Posted on Dec 14, 2012 READ MORE



Fighting Manifest Destiny

“A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico” is a probing and timely study of “the rise of America’s first national anti-war movement.”

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 READ MORE



Dreams of His Father

In “Stranger to History,” a memoir recounting Aatish Taseer’s travels through several predominantly Muslim countries, Pakistan emerges much worse after an attempt to “fix” it, a project that also eventually leads to the killing of the author’s father.

Posted on Dec 5, 2012 READ MORE



More Medea Than Madonna

In Colm Toibin’s “The Testament of Mary,” the mother of God is a troubled woman, haunted by Golgotha, hunted by assassins and waiting for death.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 READ MORE


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