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Tag: Book


Allen Barra on ‘Frost/Nixon’

Frank Langella as Nixon in the new Ron Howard movie does his best, but no one did Nixon like Nixon.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Douglas Healey

The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff

The multiple failures that beset the country can be laid at the feet of our elite universities. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford, along with most other elite schools, do a poor job educating students to think. They focus instead on creating hordes of competent systems managers.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE



Warren I. Cohen on China’s ‘Factory Girls’

There’s a revolution underway in Chinese culture as young women flock from villages to factory employment in the cities, leaving traditional values behind.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Those Other Elections

A month after Barack Obama’s triumphant victory, we are still celebrating America’s only authentic national religion, and it isn’t Christianity—it’s presidentialism.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force

‘Why We Fight’ Director on the American Way of War

Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki speaks with Truthdig’s Kasia Anderson about his new book, whether Obama can deliver, and why the U.S. is like Elvis.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Not a Team of Rivals at All

When the journalistic pack bites into a tasty cliché, they often refuse to let go, lazily chewing and regurgitating a phrase like “team of rivals” long after the flavor is gone.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Which Hillary Will We Get?

It was a moment bound to give anyone second thoughts about Hillary Clinton’s nomination as secretary of state: Rush Limbaugh called it a “brilliant stroke.”

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE



AP file photo

Confronting the Terrorist Within

The world is far more complex than our childish vision of good and evil. We as a nation and a culture have no monopoly on virtue. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when viewed from the receiving end, are state-sponsored acts of terrorism.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE



Richard Ellis on ‘Diagnosis: Mercury’

Thinking of whipping up another tuna casserole? You may change your mind after reading this convincing expose by Jane M. Hightower, a San Francisco doctor.

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Regina Marler on Ted Hughes’ Letters

A new volume of the late poet’s correspondence sheds fresh light on the anguish and art of Sylvia Plath.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008 READ MORE


Tuning Out the Braindead Megaphone

If you’re having trouble remembering what the recent election was all about, rest easy: You’re probably not going senile – you’re likely experiencing the momentary effects of brainwashing.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


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Jane Ciabattari on Toni Morrison’s ‘A Mercy’

An unabashed triumph, Morrison’s new novel is a gloriously poetic and incantatory retelling of America’s tragic and redemptive story.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE



secureourdream.com

Joe the Plumber Refuses to Go Away

Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher is determined to prolong his flash-in-the-pan political stardom. The media ham’s Web site, featuring “Joe the Blogger” and “Joe the Forum,” promotes his “Forthcoming Book on American Values.”

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


President Obama Can Redeem the White House

The first African-American elected president of the United States recently visited his soon-to-be residence, a house built by slaves. Alice Walker told me: “Even when they were building it, you know, in chains or in desperation and in sadness, they were building it for him.”

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE


Audacity of Hope
barackobama.net

Obama’s Book Sales Riding the Tsunami

Nothing like winning a presidential election to send your book sales through the roof, as Barack Obama and his presumably gleeful publishers are discovering.

Posted on Nov 10, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Tina Fineberg

America the Illiterate

The change from a print-based to an image-based society has transformed our nation. All the traditional tools of democracies, including dispassionate scientific and historical truth, facts, news and rational debate, are useless instruments in a world that lacks the capacity to use them.

Posted on Nov 10, 2008 READ MORE


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Ed Ward on Ted Gioia’s ‘Delta Blues’

A new book argues that the Mississippi Delta was the birthplace of what in 1903 W.C. Handy called “the weirdest music I had ever heard.”

Posted on Nov 7, 2008 READ MORE



us.penguingroup.com

Nicholas von Hoffman on Kevin Phillips’ ‘Bad Money’

An insightful book discloses how a confidence game combined pride and cunning and stupidity to bring America to the brink of catastrophe.

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 READ MORE


The Unlearned Lessons of Vietnam Continue to Haunt The U.S.

Governments, like corporations and modern organizations of all kinds, make much of systematically teaching “lessons learned” to those newly arrived to responsibilities, yet they seem infrequently to succeed.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE



Collage: AP photo / Chip Somodevilla, pool / Wikimedia Commons

Virtual JFK: The 44th President’s Foreign Policy Challenge

The leading issue in the current face-off between Barack Obama and John McCain is the economy. Once elected and inaugurated, however, a U.S. president’s politics become global literally overnight.

Posted on Oct 29, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / edited for effect

Populism Arising—but Will It Be the Killer Kind?

The old assumptions and paradigms about capitalism and free markets are dead. A new, virulent populism, still inchoate, is slowly and painfully rising to take their place. This populism will determine the future of the country. It is as likely to be right-wing as left-wing.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 READ MORE


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Karl E. Meyer on Sharon Waxman’s ‘Loot’

A new book investigates the illicit trade in antiquities and raises uneasy questions over cultural patrimony, the fevers of nationalism and the imperial ambitions of museums.

Posted on Oct 24, 2008 READ MORE



Simon Lewis on Traumatic Brain Injuries

A devastating and growing problem is explored in Michael Paul Mason’s riveting new book, “Head Cases.”

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Gerald Herbert

America’s Political Cannibalism

It is no longer our economy but our democracy that is in peril. Financial collapses lead to political extremism. The rage bubbling up from our impoverished and disenfranchised working class, glimpsed at John McCain rallies, presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash.

Posted on Oct 13, 2008 READ MORE



Rosa Lowinger on Cuba Before Castro

Two new books resurrect the seductions and corruptions of pre-revolutionary Cuba.

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 READ MORE


This Is No Time for Specifics

Each campaign has given voters ample notice about the inclinations, temperaments, habits, philosophical leanings and advisers they would bring to the White House. That’s enough.

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 READ MORE


Corsi
freedom21.org

Anti-Obama Author Deported From Kenya

Jerome Corsi’s scheduled visit to Kenya to promote his latest book, “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality,” was cut short after local authorities, who claimed that Corsi didn’t have the right permit, arrested the author and sent him packing on a plane to Europe on Tuesday.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


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John Holmes on ‘The Lost Spy’

Former Time correspondent Andrew Meier presents a riveting exhumation of the previously unknown story of Cy Oggins, an early American-Jewish communist who spied for the Soviets and was killed by them in 1947.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Does the Cold War Have Lessons for Today?

Carolyn Eisenberg takes a close look at Melvyn Leffler’s “For the Soul of Mankind” to ask whether our current troubles are rooted in a history that continues to haunt us.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 READ MORE


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Jane Ciabattari on Emily Dickinson’s Friendship With Abolitionist

A new book by Brenda Wineapple sheds light on the little-known relationship of the reclusive genius poet with one of America’s most fervent radicals.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


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Robert Christgau on America’s Secret Fundamentalists

Just how dangerous are evangelical zealots? A new book by Jeff Sharlet takes a close and disturbing look at the group known as The Family and its disturbing and apparently widespread influence on mainstream political culture.

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Jonathan Shapiro on the Hamdan Case

In Jonathan Mahler’s new book, George W. Bush emerges as the most lawless president in American history, the first to usurp the law as a matter of policy.

Posted on Aug 29, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / M@rcopako

The Literary Mr. Phelps

If you want to read a personal account of Michael Phelps’ training philosophy, you’ll have to wait until December, when the Olympic swimming champion’s “Built to Succeed” hits store shelves. As much as we value the written word around here, is it really necessary for every celebrity to pen a memoir? There are trees at stake, after all.

Posted on Aug 22, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

James Blight on the Cuban Missile Crisis

In “One Minute to Midnight,” Michael Dobbs’ definitive book on the 1962 crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation, the question of lessons learned and unlearned remains as acute as ever.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


The Conquest by Presidentialism

McCain’s ads are (inadvertently) incisive commentary on the death of Jeffersonian democracy. They aim to mock Obama, but they really lampoon “presidentialism”: our paternalistic view that presidents are godlike saviors—and therefore democracy’s only important figures.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


The Original Swift-Boater Is Back

Here come the goons, right on schedule. The “author,” and I use the term loosely, whose vicious lies damaged John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign has crawled back out from under his rock to spew vicious lies about Barack Obama.

Posted on Aug 15, 2008 READ MORE



amazon.com

Obama to Release New Book in September

Book browsers will get plenty of face time with the Democratic candidate this fall when “Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama’s Plan to Renew America’s Promise” arrives in stores. It’s a collection of speeches, policy papers and a foreword from the man himself. Proceeds will go to an unspecified charity.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Zachary Karabell on the Middle East

What is it about the region that provokes intense sectarian passions, prompting seemingly endless vendettas? “Kingmakers,” by Karl Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac, tells the story of British and American entanglement and how the modern Middle East was invented. It also offers an exemplary history of hubris.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


Ron Suskind on Bush’s ‘Great Lies’

Ron Suskind’s new book alleges that the White House ordered the CIA to fabricate a link between Iraq and al-Qaida. The CIA director at the time, George Tenet, calls the claim “ridiculous.” Suskind says that’s just an example of “George’s memory issue.”

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

White House Fabricated Iraq Intelligence, Book Alleges

According to Ron Suskind, former Wall Street Journal reporter and best-selling Bush critic, the White House ordered the CIA to fabricate evidence linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida and knew before the invasion that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. The White House denies the allegations, published in Suskind’s new book, “The Way of the World.”

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Kasia Anderson on Barbara Walters

“Audition” details the life story, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, of a pioneering journalist-entertainer who reported the news while making it in ways both admirable and troubling.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Ray Bradbury on Literature and Love

The renowned author sits down with Truthdig literary editor Steve Wasserman to tell stories about his books, the many loves of his life—including dinosaurs and Halloween—and his own starring role in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rise to fame.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Nikki Keddie on Iran

In “Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies,” Barbara Slavin, a leading Middle East reporter for USA Today, offers a refreshingly nuanced and revelatory taxonomy of power within theocratic Iran that sheds light on its leaders and their ambitions.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE



John Dean on ?Pure Goldwater?

Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer interviews John Dean about “Pure Goldwater,” his new collaboration with the late senator’s son. The book is a reminder that American conservatism has drifted far from its original heading.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE



John Dean on ‘Pure Goldwater’

Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer interviews John Dean about “Pure Goldwater,” his new collaboration with the late senator’s son. The book is a reminder that American conservatism has drifted far from its original heading.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE



Illustration by Peter Scheer

Closing the Book on a Proud Tradition

For 33 years, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review has brought the literary world to the doorstep of the nation’s largest book-buying community. That era is about to end, a fact that disturbs the section’s former editors who have written this formal protest.

Posted on Jul 20, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

William Pfaff on General Motors

Are workers to blame for the fix that General Motors (along with many other corporations) is in? A new book by Roger Lowenstein argues that they are. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE


‘Kafka Comes to America’

Steven Wax’s new book provides an insider’s view of some of the most hideous practices our country has allowed since the 9/11 attacks. And that’s without giving accounts of torture and abuse of detainees.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Ellen Garrison on ‘All the Sad Young Literary Men’

Are Keith Gessen and his posse really the voice of the Zeitgeist, the intellectual heirs to Norman Mailer and George Plimpton? Or just the highbrow version of Judd Apatow?

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Ruth Rosen on ‘The Populist Vision’

Do the socially progressive ideals that jump-started 20th-century reform movements have lessons relevant to the concerns of 21st-century America? A new book makes a strong case that they do.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


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