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Oct 24, 2011

Things Noted Here & There

Carnivalesque LXXIX, an ancient/medieval edition of the festival, is up at She-Wolf.

TLS editor Sir Peter Stothard first published a very critical assessment of Robert Hughes's Rome on 19 June. Ten days later, Mary Beard's review for the Guardian found so many "howlers" in the book that she told readers to skip its first 200 pages. Stothard returned to the attack in September's Australian Book Review: "In his lengthy account of the history of Rome, Robert Hughes is doubly, gloriously, and disgracefully careless." The full-throated attack is reprinted here, where Stothard seems to demand that Hughes reply.

Charles C. Mann, "How the Potato Changed the World," Smithsonian, November, is adapted from Mann's 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created. M. J., "The benefits of early money-laundering," Economist, 21 October, reviews "Money and Beauty: Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities," an exhibit at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. David Wooten, "Revolution in the heavens," TLS, 19 October, reviews Steven Shapin's and Simon Schaffer's Leviathan and the Air Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the experimental life (new edition); and Robert S. Westman's The Copernican Question: Prognostication, skepticism, and celestial order.

Colin Jones and Emily Richardson, "Madame de Pompadour: The Other Cheek," History Today, November, explore obscene cartoons of Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV's favourite mistress. Paula Young Lee, "Vivent Les Animaux," Slate, 21 October, compares "the animal panic of 18th-century Paris with Zanesville, Ohio."

James Fenton, "Everywhere Man," Atlantic, November, reviews Laird M. Easton, ed. and trans., Journey to the Abyss: The Diaries of Count Harry Kessler, 1880-1918. Mike Dash, "The Battle of Broken Hill," Past Imperfect, 20 October, recounts an attack, early in World War I, by Afghan workmen who rallied under the flag of Turkey on a train of vacationing Australian picnickers.

James J. Sheehan, "Hitler's Last Gasp," NYT, 21 October, reviews Ian Kershaw's The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-45.

Finally, farewell to Emory's Rudolph Byrd, an expert in African American literature, and to Howard's Aziz Batran, a historian of Africa.

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