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The Unwomanly Face of War
The Life of Caliph Washington

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Tag: Book Review


The Unwomanly Face of War

Svetlana Alexievich’s first book, a harrowing oral history of women in World War II, is now available for the first time in English, almost four decades after it was written.

Posted on Jul 21, 2017 READ MORE


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The Life of Caliph Washington

In a country that expresses reverence for due process, a 17-year-old is arrested, put on trial, sentenced to death, then shuttled among death row cellblocks for 13 years, all for a crime he didn’t commit.

Posted on Jul 14, 2017 READ MORE



Building a Bridge

For the Catholic Church to truly respect the rights of LGBT people would require upending the sexuality stigma and gender hierarchy on which the church is largely built.

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 READ MORE



Living in the Shadows

A new book by writer, photographer and union organizer David Bacon is a bilingual fusion of journalism and documentary photography that reveals the humanity and suffering of marginalized Latino workers.

Posted on Jun 30, 2017 READ MORE



Teeth

A muckraking new book exposes the hidden reality of oral disease—a stepchild in the health care debate and likely the largest pre-existing condition of all—in the United States.

Posted on Jun 16, 2017 READ MORE



Wrestling With His Angel

The second volume in Sidney Blumenthal’s biography of Abraham Lincoln’s political evolution follows the president during the stormy period between the Mexican War and the Civil War.

Posted on Jun 2, 2017 READ MORE



Rising Star

Renowned biographer David J. Garrow concludes this massive new biography of Barack Obama with a damning verdict: “While the crucible of self-creation had produced an ironclad will, the vessel was hollow at its core.”

Posted on May 26, 2017 READ MORE



Czeslaw Milosz: A Life

A new biography of one of the most significant poets of the past century shows what it was like to be politically engaged and spiritually conflicted in the 20th century.

Posted on May 19, 2017 READ MORE



The Islamic Jesus

Mustafa Akyol’s book tells Christians, Muslims and Jews exactly what we all have in common and how we got this way. It reaches us not a minute too soon.

Posted on May 12, 2017 READ MORE



The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel is a recipe book for how to create a hellish society. It’s also a recipe book for how to resist.

Posted on May 5, 2017 READ MORE



Rebel Mother

Peter Andreas’ memoir explores a “childhood chasing the revolution” as the son of an impulsive, self-centered political radical who cloaked her narcissism behind pro-Marxist rhetoric.

Posted on Apr 28, 2017 READ MORE



After 2016’s Losses, Elizabeth Warren Tells Democrats: ‘Shame On Us’

The story the Massachusetts senator tells about the election and America’s anxieties is curiously one-dimensional.

Posted on Apr 19, 2017 READ MORE



The Financial Diaries

A new book explores the lives of families dealing with financial uncertainty and volatility.

Posted on Apr 14, 2017 READ MORE



The Best We Could Do

I thought graphic novels were kid stuff—and there is no better book to prove me wrong than this turbulent memoir of a Vietnamese family.

Posted on Apr 7, 2017 READ MORE



Poems From the Pond

Peggy Freydberg’s sharp sense of humor and observation are at odds with this book’s presentation.

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 READ MORE



I Am Brian Wilson

The musician we meet in this book looks back on his mid-’70s Beach Boys caricature with sympathy and dread. As his gentle voice emerges from the pages, a more definitive picture takes shape.

Posted on Mar 17, 2017 READ MORE



Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty

A granddaughter of the journalist and founder of the Catholic Worker Movement explores the relationship between Day and her only child.

Posted on Mar 3, 2017 READ MORE



What We Do Now

Two new books published in the days leading up to Donald Trump’s inauguration purport to show a path forward for liberals.

Posted on Feb 10, 2017 READ MORE



Best of Truthdig’s Book Reviews 2016: Top Reads, From Economics to Politics and Even Genetics

In a year of many upheavals, it’s no surprise that books on income inequality, political protest and global warming would wind up on our top 10 literary list of the past year. But there’s also room for a little comedy and some ancient history among the picks.

Posted on Dec 26, 2016 READ MORE



I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This

Nadja Spiegelman’s new memoir is an attempt to decode her mother’s wounds: “The past was always there on her body, but I couldn’t see it. ... It was underneath everything else: the blueprint we both carried.”

Posted on Aug 19, 2016 READ MORE



American Heiress

Patty Hearst’s wild saga “provided hints of what America would become,” in the words of author Jeffrey Toobin—a sensational true crime story and a sad comment on American justice, race relations, media and celebrity culture.

Posted on Aug 6, 2016 READ MORE



Barkskins

Annie Proulx’s new novel is an awesome monument of environmental fiction, drilling deep into the forests that enabled this country to conquer the world, and lays out the history of American capitalism’s rapacious destruction of the land.

Posted on Jul 1, 2016 READ MORE



A Strangeness in My Mind

In telling the story of a Turkish boy who moves from a village to the country’s largest city and spends the next 40 years as a peddler, Orhan Pamuk does for Istanbul something like what James Joyce did for Dublin.

Posted on Nov 6, 2015 READ MORE



When Robots Run the Show

In “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future,” Martin Ford predicts that the next wave of job losses will be caused by advances in artificial intelligence, making robots the most efficient way to perform routine work now done by humans.

Posted on Aug 21, 2015 READ MORE



Truthdig’s Books of the Year: Part Two

You’ve read part one—now find out which books made the cut in the last installment about our top 10 top reads of 2014.

Posted on Dec 29, 2014 READ MORE



The Chain

A new expose of Big Pig reveals that for all the hoopla about artisanal bacon and grass fed beef, Spam and its industrial meat cousins are still what’s for dinner.

Posted on Nov 28, 2014 READ MORE



Why Warnings on Climate Spark Aggressive Denials

A new book argues that death threats and abuse illustrate how climate change messengers are being demonized in a way that is without parallel in the history of science.

Posted on Nov 8, 2014 READ MORE



Hand in Hand With Kissinger: A Review of Hillary Clinton’s Review

If Hillary Clinton’s latest book, “Hard Choices,” was not an obvious enough sign of her presidential aspirations, then her recent Washington Post review of Henry Kissinger’s new book, “World Order,” seems to have sealed the deal.

Posted on Sep 11, 2014 READ MORE



Robert Scheer’s Mini Review of Glenn Greenwald’s New Book

It is 4 a.m. and I have just finished reading, in one sitting, the Kindle download of a book that I intended only to skim because I thought that I knew the full story.

Posted on May 13, 2014 READ MORE



Knopf

Diane Ravitch Reviews ‘Reign of Error’ Review: ‘Beautiful’

It’s always nice when, tasked with writing a book review involving a key figure in a certain field of which one is well acquainted, one ultimately has good things to say about the book in question.

Posted on Dec 17, 2013 READ MORE


Truthdig and LA Press Club
truthdig.com / lapressclub.org

Truthdig Critics Win National Entertainment Journalism Awards

Peter Richardson and Chris Hedges took home the first and second place trophies, respectively, in the online critic category at the L.A. Press Club’s Sixth Annual National Entertainment Journalism Awards on Sunday.

Posted on Nov 25, 2013 READ MORE



AP/Tara Todras-Whitehill

Reading ‘Goliath’: Inconvenient Truths

Doorstop. That’s what publishers call 400-page books like Max Blumenthal’s “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.” But as I read it the term that came to mind was heart stopper.

Posted on Nov 5, 2013 READ MORE



Sarah Crichton Books

Thank You for Your Service

We’ve got too much war for too few warriors. David Finkel, in painful, intimate detail, examines the effects of “after war” and those victimized by egregious military malpractice.

Posted on Oct 4, 2013 READ MORE



New Press

Beyond the Shock Machine

Some 50 years after the infamous Milgram experiments, Australian psychologist Gina Perry writes, “The standard account ... suggests that ordinary people can be manipulated into behaving in ways that contradict their morals and values—that you or I could be talked into torturing a man. But could we?”

Posted on Sep 13, 2013 READ MORE



John McStravick (CC-BY)

Is College Worth It?

These four books are written in the shadow of the suspicion that the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves—concerning hard work, opportunity, meritocracy, achievement and social mobility—somehow no longer pertain.

Posted on Sep 2, 2013 READ MORE



NASA/JPL

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember

Author Annalee Newitz is convinced that humans will survive a mass extinction, “because the world has been almost completely destroyed at least half a dozen times already in Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history, and every single time there have been survivors.”

Posted on Aug 9, 2013 READ MORE



Update: ‘Sex and the Citadel’ Makes Guardian Book Award Longlist

Shereen El Feki’s first book journeys through the customs, laws, attitudes and history informing sexual life in six Arab countries.

Posted on Aug 1, 2013 READ MORE



Americanah

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s third novel compares racial hierarchies in the U.S. to social striving in her native Nigeria, with a ruthless honesty about the ugly and beautiful sides of both nations.

Posted on Jul 25, 2013 READ MORE



Better Off Without ’Em

“It’s too bad that we just didn’t let the South secede when we had the chance,” Chuck Thompson writes.

Posted on Jul 2, 2013 READ MORE



What Do Women Want?

Women are far more attracted to strangers, and far less suited to a life of staid fidelity, than the evolutionary psychologists would like us to think.

Posted on Jun 27, 2013 READ MORE



The Unwinding

This book’s vision of how things went bad over the past generation covers such diverse topics as the fast food-obesity nexus, the loss of localism, the end of cheap oil, the housing collapse and, above all, the death of trust.

Posted on Jun 13, 2013 READ MORE



Macmillan

The Race for What’s Left

It’s dire but simple: There are no longer any essential resources for economic expansion or survival that are abundant, accessible or safe to obtain.

Posted on Jun 5, 2013 READ MORE



Image via Shutterstock

Act of Congress

A new book examines the House and Senate through the evolution of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and “Congress comes across as the nation’s grandfather: antiquated, inconsistent, as slow-moving as it is dull-witted.”

Posted on May 16, 2013 READ MORE



Daily Rituals

“Daily Rituals: How Artists Work,” which describes the routines of more than 150 creative people, including playwrights, composers, painters and writers, is a compact, quirky and frequently delightful book.

Posted on May 9, 2013 READ MORE



girlsofatomiccity.com

The Girls of Atomic City

In 1942, the U.S. government created an instant, secret city in rural Tennessee to process uranium for the world’s first atomic bomb. And Rosie, it turns out, did much more than drive rivets.

Posted on May 2, 2013 READ MORE



In-Depth Review and Analysis of the 2013 Pulitzer Winner for Fiction

Cherilyn Parsons, in her Truthdig review of “The Orphan Master’s Son,” wrote that the book, which just won the Pulitzer Prize, is “a rich, careening, dystopian tale that stretches the form of a novel to give us a visceral hit of life inside North Korea.”

Posted on Apr 16, 2013 READ MORE



The Terror Courts

The details about the courts at Guantanamo Bay have remained sketchy. Until now, as a new book explains how a small group of Bush-era political appointees developed a parallel justice system designed to ensure a specific outcome.

Posted on Apr 5, 2013 READ MORE



Digital Disconnect

“The ways capitalism works and does not work,” Robert McChesney writes in his new book, “determine the role the Internet might play in society. ... The problem is that [Internet] celebrants often believe digital technology has superpowers over political economy.”

Posted on Mar 26, 2013 READ MORE



Time of Useful Consciousness

Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s new book, “Time of Useful Consciousness,” is a fresh missive looping through the history of America from a 93-year-old Beat who has always refused to sit down.

Posted on Jan 29, 2013 READ MORE



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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