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book review

  • Originally published 10/20/2017

    Review of Ron Chernow’s "Grant"

    John Reeves

    Chernow has now provided us with a compelling explanation of why Grant was indeed the first soldier of the Civil War, though there’s always the matter of the sacrifice of all those lives lost in battle.

  • Originally published 07/19/2017

    We Should Keep a Close Eye on Business, too

    Nate Holdren

    A review of Elizabeth Anderson’s “Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It)” and Chad Pearson’s “Reform or Repression: Organizing America's Anti-Union Movement.”

  • Originally published 03/22/2016

    What's the Matter with Liberalism?

    Mike O’Connor

    A review of Thomas Frank’s new book, "Listen, Liberal–or–What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?"

  • Originally published 01/22/2016

    Review of Ludmila Ulitskaya’s “The Big Green Tent”

    Walter G. Moss

    "The Big Green Tent" is a worthy successor in a long line of first-rate Russian novels. It pulsates with life, reflects a historical era accurately, deals with important moral questions, and is extremely readable.

  • Originally published 11/02/2015

    Who Needs Soviet Propaganda?

    David M. Barrett

    A review of David Talbot’s "The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government."

  • Originally published 03/23/2015

    Review of "Dalton Trumbo: Blacklisted Hollywood Radical" by Larry Ceplair and Christopher Trumbo

    Ron Briley

    Trumbo is the subject of an in-depth biography commenced by the screenwriter’s son and sometimes collaborator, Christopher, and completed by film scholar Larry Ceplair. Ceplair concentrates the biography upon Trumbo’s personal life rather than the numerous scripts he authored; employing the numerous letters written by the author as a primary source.

  • Originally published 10/17/2014

    Review of Henry Wiencek’s "Master of the Mountain"

    M. Andrew Holowchak

    Wiencek accuses Jefferson of “carefully calibrated violence,” but it is Wiencek who ought to be accused of the crime, as his book is fraught with an indescribable number of analogies, metaphors, similes, and other literary devices, used to transport readers on an emotional journey.

  • Originally published 06/19/2014

    Does He Pass the Test?

    Paul Krugman

    Geithner, while acknowledging the disappointments, would have us view the economic policy of these past seven or so years mainly as a success story, because things could have been much worse.

  • Originally published 05/08/2013

    Jeffrey Aaron Snyder: Review of James Patterson's "The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Changed America" (Basic Books, 2012)

    Jeffrey Aaron Snyder is a historian of education who writes about the twentieth-century United States.  He teaches at Carleton College.When did “the Sixties” begin? The answer, James Patterson says, is 1965, after which “life in the United States would never be the same again.” When President Lyndon Baines Johnson lit the national Christmas tree in December of 1964, he declared that “these are the most hopeful times in all the years since Christ was born in Bethlehem.” One year later, Watts was still smoldering while thousands of demonstrators gathered in front of the White House to chant “Hey, hey, LBJ! How many kids have you killed today?” The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Changed America tells the absorbing story of how we got from the promise of Bethlehem to the nightmares of Vietnam and race riots.