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Articles tagged with: open letters weekly 17

Book Review: Christopher Hitchens – The Last Interview

December 4th, 2017
hitchens last interview

The latest in the “Last Interview” series from Melville House features the renowned iconoclast Christopher Hitchens.

Book Review: The Fate of Rome

November 30th, 2017
fate of rome

To the long list of potential explanations for the fall of Rome, a gripping new book adds one more: climate change.

Book Review: Giannozzo Manetti

November 25th, 2017
manetti harvard

New in the I Tatti series: a tract in praise of Christianity (at the expense of Jews and ancient pagans) by a towering figure of the early Renaissance.

Book Review: Spineless

November 24th, 2017

A fascinating new book looks at the unendingly odd jellyfish – and some of the unexpected roles it plays in the 21st century world.

Book Review: The Friendly Orange Glow

November 21st, 2017
friendly orange

A tremendously involving narrative history of a forgotten chapter in Internet history

Book Review: The Dawn Watch

November 20th, 2017
dawn watch

A fantastic new biography of Joseph Conrad follows him around in his travels and delves into the heart of his many books.

Book Review: The Big Book of the Continental Op

November 15th, 2017
big book continental op

All of Dashiell Hammett’s stories and novels featuring the Continental Op, collected in one volume for the first time.

Book Review: Cartoon County

November 10th, 2017
valiant bridge

In “Cartoon County,” Vanity Fair editor Cullen Murphy recounts his famous cartoonist father’s adventures during the heyday of the American pop art industry.

Book Review: Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts

November 9th, 2017
remarkable manu

The life stories of twelve incredible medieval manuscripts.

Book Review: The Water Will Come

November 6th, 2017
water will come

A powerful new book covers in terrifying detail what happens to the modern world if Earth’s ice caps dissolve.

Book Review: The Second World Wars

October 27th, 2017
second world wars

Veteran military historian Victor Davis Hanson writes a broad-scale history of the Second World War.

Book Review: The Collector of Lives

October 26th, 2017
thecollector of lives

Giorgio Vasari, the author of a fundamental and beloved collection of the lives of Renaissance artists, here gets a lively and readable biography of his own.

Book Review: Grant

October 25th, 2017

Bestselling biographer Ron Chernow tells the story of famous general and infamous president Ulysses S. Grant.

Book Review: Trump is F*cking Crazy

October 24th, 2017
trump keith

Former newscaster and sports commentator Keith Olbermann is a new star of YouTube for his strident opposition to President Trump; his new book provides the transcript.

Book Review: Iran: A Modern History

October 23rd, 2017

A sprawling new history of Iran from the 16th century to the present brings the multi-faceted story of Persia alive.

Book Review: Istanbul

October 19th, 2017
Book Review: Istanbul

Orhan Pamuk’s bestselling love letter to Istanbul receives a gorgeous new illustrated edition.

Book Review: Tamed & Untamed

October 17th, 2017

Two beloved writers of natural history team up to tell stories about a host of animal species, from the ones in our homes to the ones in our gardens to the ones still prowling the wild.

Book Review: Calder

October 17th, 2017

The legendary avant-garde sculptor Alexander Calder gets his very first biography, written by art critic Jed Perl

Book Review: Leonardo Da Vinci

October 13th, 2017

Bestselling biographer Walter Isaacson adds another massive tome to the pile of those devoted to the quintessential Renaissance man, Leonardo Da Vinci.

Book Review: The Big Book of Rogues and Villains

October 12th, 2017
big book of rogues and villains

The latest enormous anthology from Otto Penzler features the dandies of the demimonde, the stylish thieves and ruthless killers of popular fiction.

Book Review: Stalin – Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941

October 11th, 2017
stalin kotkin

Stephen Kotkin’s groundbreaking multi-volume biography of Stalin continues with the uneasy alliance between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

Book Review: Russia in Flames

October 10th, 2017
russia in flames

A big, lively new history assesses the troubled life and blighted nature of Bolshevism.

Book Review: Vanguard of the Revolution

October 4th, 2017
vanguard of the revolution

The grand, global history of Communism’s century-long reign of terror is the subject of A. James McAdams’ authoritative new book.

Book Review: Adults in the Room

October 3rd, 2017
adults in the room

Former finance minister for Greece Yanis Varoufakis has written a book about his time on the world stage during his country’s financial crisis.

Book Review: The Meaning of Belief

October 2nd, 2017
the meaning of belief

The gap between the religious and the “New Atheists” seems wider than ever – but have both sides failed even to understand each other? A pocket-sized new book examines some of the oldest questions of all.

Book Review: The New Testament

October 1st, 2017
new testament cover

A new translation of the New Testament strips away the baroque filigree and presents the raw, jumbled voices of the original.

Book Review: James Conant, Warrior Scientist

September 27th, 2017
man of the hour

US weapons-making scientist in two world wars and a path-making president of Harvard James Conant gets a generous biography, written by his granddaughter.

Book Review: Pious Fashion

September 27th, 2017
pious fashion

A new book looks at the intricate world of Muslim women’s clothing fashions.

Book Review: Lightning Men

September 26th, 2017
lightning men

Racially charged 1950 Atlanta is the setting for Thomas Mullen’s brutal, terrific new crime thriller.

Book Review: The Templars

September 25th, 2017

The Knights Templar have been captured on stage, page, and screen countless times; a new book separates history from legend.

Book Review: Purpose & Desire

September 19th, 2017
purpose & desire

A new book stares into the divide between living and non-living matter and finds the darndest things staring back.

Book Review: Bunny Mellon

September 18th, 2017
bunny mellon

Renowned socialite Bunny Mellon, who made headlines for an entire century, gets a big, generous new biography.

Interview: Mark Helprin

September 18th, 2017

Novelist Mark Helprin talks about his new book, “Paris in the Present Tense”

Book Review: iGen

September 14th, 2017

Are cell phones and ‘smart’ technology rotting the minds of today’s young people? A controversial new book makes the case.

Book Review: The Unfinished Palazzo

September 14th, 2017
unfinished palazzo

A small portion of the life of one famous Venetian palace is told through the lives of three remarkable women who ruled it in the 20th century.

Book Review: Out of China

September 11th, 2017
out of china

The roots of new Chinese nationalism extend back through well over a century of foreign meddling, as a comprehensive new history shows.

Len Wein

September 10th, 2017

Len Wein

Book Review: The Cold War

September 6th, 2017

A massive new study looks at the Cold War as a world war, touching – and often toppling – governments far from Washington or Moscow.

Book Review: The Witch

September 6th, 2017
the witch

Paganism scholar Ronald Hutton’s fascinating new book delves into the long history of the witch in human societies.

Book Review: The Republic For Which It Stands

September 4th, 2017
the republic for which

America in the sordid wilderness years between the end of the Civil War and the dawn of the 20th century is the focus of the newest volume in the mighty Oxford History of the United States.

Book Review: The World of Tomorrow

September 1st, 2017
world of tomorrow

The fates of three very different Irish brothers in prewar Manhattan intertwine in Brendan Mathews’ impressive debut novel.

Book Review: The Future Won’t Be Long

September 1st, 2017
the future won’t be long

An ’80s club kid wises up and gets all sad and melancholy in Jarett Kobek’s follow-up to this surprise hit “I Hate the Internet”

Book Review: The Massacre of Mankind

August 30th, 2017
massacre of mankind

“The War of the Worlds” by H. G. Wells gets an authorized sequel in which you-know-who are back for another shot at conquering the Earth.

Book Review: Quakeland

August 29th, 2017

An enormous earthquake is an inevitable feature of America’s near future, and yet as Kathryn Miles’ gripping new book makes clear, the country is completely, willfully unprepared.

Book Review: The Party

August 29th, 2017
the party

A smart new novel looks back through fractured viewpoints at the dramatic events of a party at an English country house.

Book Review: Bush and Cheney

August 23rd, 2017
bush & cheney

One of the most outspoken critics of the official version of 9-11 now writes a wide-ranging assessment of the long-term consequences of the Bush-Cheney administration.

Book Review: The Riviera at War

August 22nd, 2017
the riviera at war

An impressive new history details the many sides of the fighting that came to the French Riviera during the Second World War

Book Review: The World Broke in Two

August 20th, 2017

A new book contends that one particular year in the wake of the First World War changed the literary landscape forever.

Book Review: One Summer Day in Rome

August 17th, 2017

The lives of five visiting Americans are forever changed by their short but eventful stays in the Eternal City.

Book Review: Midnight in the Pacific

August 15th, 2017
midnight in the pacific

A key turning-point in the Battle of the Pacific gets a richly anecdotal new history.

Book Review: Their Backs Against the Sea

August 14th, 2017
Book Review: Their Backs Against the Sea

A ferocious and largely forgotten island battle marked a key point in the Pacific theater of the Second World War. A new book tells the story of the Battle of Saipan.

Book Review: The Half-Drowned King

August 9th, 2017
the half-drowned king

The first installment in a projected series about a wily Viking warrior, his leader – and the women in his life

Book Review: The Seventh Function of Language

August 8th, 2017
seventfunction cover

Was the death of literary theorist Roland Barthes in 1980 the result of a simple traffic accident – or part of a deeper plot? Laurent Binet’s new novel takes readers into the weird world of ginned-up semiology.

Book Review: The Treaty of Versailles

August 2nd, 2017

A new short treatment of the pivotal Treaty of Versailles by one of the greatest working historians of the First World War.

Book Review: In the Highest Degree Tragic

August 1st, 2017

The doomed valor of the small, scrappy US Asiatic Fleet in the Pacific Theater, often overlooked in WWII histories, now gets an elaborate new chronicle.

Book Review: Grace

July 24th, 2017

A young girl in 19th-century Ireland sets off on a dangerous odyssey with her even-younger brother in Paul Lynch’s new novel.

Book Review: Bed-Stuy is Burning

July 19th, 2017
bed-stuy is burning

A debut novel tackles the volatile issues of gentrification and police brutality.

Book Review: Madame Zero

July 18th, 2017
madame zero

Many readers will find reflections of themselves in the nine stories that comprise Sarah Hall’s newest collection.

Book Review: The Epiphany Machine

July 18th, 2017

A mysterious machine gives people tattoos that reveal deep oracular truths about themselves – and drives one young man to understand it all.

Book Review: See What I Have Done

July 12th, 2017
see what I have done

The famous Lizzie Borden axe-murders are 125 years old in 2017, and a new debut novel explores the horrors from the viewpoints of several people directly involved.

Book Review: We Shall Not All Sleep

July 10th, 2017
we shall not all sleep

The centuries-old rivalry between two families erupts in new tensions during one summer on a small island off the coast of Maine

Book Review: Patrick Henry

July 5th, 2017

A lavishly-detailed new biography tells the story of the Virginia plantation-owner and early voice for independence from Great Britain

Book Review: The New Annotated Frankenstein

July 4th, 2017

Mary Shelley’s indomitable horror classic gets a sumptuous new annotated edition.

Book Review: Warner Bros

July 3rd, 2017

The latest entry in Yale’s “Jewish Lives” series is the story of Warner Brothers Studo, by the great film historian David Thomson

Book Review: The Allies Strike Back

June 28th, 2017
allies strike back

A vivid new history recounts the resurgence of the Allies against the Germany war machine during the highest pitch of the Second World War

Book Review: The White Road

June 14th, 2017
teh white road

The quest for social media click-traffic leads a young video-maker to the heights of the world’s deadliest mountain in Sarah Lotz’s new thriller.

Book Review: Heretics & Believers

June 12th, 2017
heretics & believers

A big, wonderfully readable new history of the sixteenth-century religious upheaval that transformed English life

Book Review: The Best Land Under Heaven

June 7th, 2017
best land under

A thorough and searching new book explores not only the tragic fate of the Donner Party but the dreams that motivated them in the first place.

Book Review: Paradise Lost

May 23rd, 2017
paradise lost

The newest biography of the Jazz Age bard tries to get at the man beneath the high-flying legends.

Book Review: Ernest Hemingway

May 19th, 2017

The epic and tortured life of Ernest Hemingway is told with remarkable insight in a powerful new biography

Book Review: The Afterlife of John Fitzgerald Kennedy

May 19th, 2017
jfk afterlife

An intriguing new book charts the long, complicated, and surprisingly vital JFK memory-industry.

Book Review: Be Like the Fox

May 18th, 2017
be like the fox

A vivid new biography attempts to get at the true nature of the perennially-misunderstood Machiavelli

Book Review: Jane Austen, The Secret Radical

May 17th, 2017

A hugely readable new book examines the progressive social thinker behind the most beloved novels of English literature.

Book Review: Sting Like a Bee

May 16th, 2017
sting like a bee

The greatest boxer of all time was once involved in a years-long battle … with the US government. A hugely readable new book tells the story.

Book Review: How the Zebra Got Its Stripes

May 9th, 2017

Popular YouTube sensation Léo Grasset imports his brand of easygoing biology lessons to the pages of a slim book.

Book Review: Salt Houses

May 4th, 2017

A Palestinian family is driven from one place of exile to another in this memorable debut novel.

Book Review: The End of Eddy

May 2nd, 2017
the end of eddy

The English-language translation of a French novella about the everyday trials and setbacks of growing up gay

Book Review: The Dinner Party and Other Stories

May 1st, 2017

The latest volume from Joshua Ferris collects eleven of his punchy and evocative short stories.

Book Review: Dogs of War

April 25th, 2017
dogs of war

Killer robot dogs playing fetch with weapons of mass destruction! Killer ‘smart’ machines the size of a grain of sand! And every last little thing weaponized! It’s the latest Joe Ledger novel.

Book Review: Hamlet Globe to Globe

April 21st, 2017

A terrific new book tells the story of what happens when a hardy company takes the world’s most famous play to every country on Earth.

Book Review: What Algorithms Want

April 20th, 2017
what algorithms want

A cogent, sobering new book looks at the computer conversations that increasingly shape every aspect of our lives.

Book Review: The Malmedy Massacre

April 19th, 2017

One of the most shocking incidents of the Battle of the Bulge was the slaughter of a group of US prisoners by the SS at Malmedy. A gripping new book tells the story of the massacre and its tangled aftermath

Book Review: Birds of Prey

April 13th, 2017
birds of prey

The savage, beautiful carnivore-birds who fly and hunt by day are the subject of an enthusiastic new book

Book Review: The Quarry Fox

April 12th, 2017

A charming new book takes readers into the fascinating world of Catskills “critters,” trees, trails, and even rocks.

Book Review: The Complete Old English Poems

April 12th, 2017
Book Review: The Complete Old English Poems

A hefty new volume brings together all the poetry of the Old English world, wrought into modern verse.

Book Review: Becoming Leonardo

April 10th, 2017
becoming leonardo

An unconventional and compulsively readable new biography tries to get at the heart of the quintessential Renaissance Man.

Book Review: Protestants

April 4th, 2017

A invigorating new history looks at the tumultuous 500-year history of Protestantism

Book Review: The Imagineers of War

April 3rd, 2017
Book Review: The Imagineers of War

Famed in pop culture, the unconventional geniuses of DARPA were tasked with developing the technology of the future, today. A big new book delves into the history of the Pentagon’s think-tank.

Book Review: Martin Luther, Renegade and Prophet

March 30th, 2017
Book Review: Martin Luther, Renegade and Prophet

A smart and rewarding new biography seeks to portray the very human man underneath the multilayered legend of Martin Luther.

Book Review: The Imagineers of War

March 29th, 2017
imagineers of war

For decades, the weirdos and shaggy-haired mad-genius inventors of DARPA have toiled in well-funded obscurity; a new book uses recently-declassified material to tell their story.

Book Review: Fallen Glory

March 29th, 2017

A lavishly-produced new book details humanity’s long love-hate relationship with some of its most famous and iconic buildings.

Book Review: A History of Ancient Egypt from the Great Pyramid to the Fall of the Middle Kingdom

March 27th, 2017

The author’s multi-volume history of Ancient Egypt now reaches the high points of that culture’s power and refinement.

Book Review: Carnivore Minds

March 24th, 2017
carnivore minds

Sharks, bears, rattlesnakes … these and other infamous apex carnivores long considered mindless killing machines are given a fresh and nuanced re-examination in G. A. Bradshaw’s new book.

Book Review: The New Neotropical Companion

March 22nd, 2017
white-nosed coati

A classic nature guide gets an elaborate, beautiful update.

Bob Silvers

March 20th, 2017

Bob Silvers

Book Review: Swimmer Among the Stars

March 16th, 2017

Islands of bright, fable-spinning whimsy dot the debut collection of Kanishk Tharoor

Book Review: The Weight of This World

March 15th, 2017
david joy

The sudden death of their drug dealer sends two backwoods friends into a spiral of greed and violence in the new novel from David Joy.

Book Review: Spaceman of Bohemia

March 14th, 2017
jaroslave kalfar

A lone Czech astronaut on a deep-space mission confronts his past and his fears in this taut, memorable debut novel

Book Review: In This Grave Hour

March 13th, 2017
in this grave

Even the declaration of war with Germany doesn’t stop mysteries from arriving at the doorstep of the indefatigable Maisie Dobbs.

Book Review: Sex and the Constitution

March 9th, 2017
sex and the consitution

A richly rewarding new book narrates the long and complicated history of the American quest for – and fight against – life, liberty, and the pursuit of sex.

Book Review: A Rabble of Dead Money

March 7th, 2017
rabble of dead money

Long before the Great Recession shook the modern world to its financial foundations, there was the Great Depression, the subject of a gripping new history.

Book Review: Cnut the Great

March 6th, 2017
Book Review: Cnut the Great

A taut, gripping new biography presents the life of the great warlord-monarch King Cnut

Book Review: Clement Attlee

March 3rd, 2017
citizen clem

A boisterous new biography re-examines the life and legacy of the enigmatic British Prime Minister and Labor leader Clement Attlee

Book Review: The Gulf

March 2nd, 2017
the gulf

The whole sweep of the Gulf of Mexico’s nature and history is the subject of a fascinating and passionate new book.

Book Review: Gunmetal Gray

March 1st, 2017

In the latest “Gray Man” novel, Mark Greaney’s tough-as-nails title character is on the hunt in Southeast Asia for a vanished Chinese super-hacker.

Book Review: Stalin and the Scientists

February 27th, 2017
staline and

The Soviet Union billed itself as a scientific utopia, and yet, as a tremendously readable new history illustrates, the awkward of marriage of state and science gave rise to a parade of absurdities.

Book Review: The Inkblots

February 23rd, 2017
the inkblots

You’ve all seen the famous Rorschach inkblots; a fantastic new book tells the story not only of the inkblots but also of the odd, fascinating man behind them.

Book Review: Homo Deus

February 20th, 2017
homo deus

The author of the popular-science hit Sapiens returns with a book that looks not to humanity’s distant past but rather to its immediate future.

Book Review: The President Will See You Now

February 15th, 2017
the president will see you now

A warm, engaging memoir takes readers inside the post-presidency years of Ronald Reagan

Book Review: Presidents’ Secrets

February 14th, 2017
presidents secrets cover

A concise, hard-hitting new book outlines the long history of secrecy at the heart of US government

Book Review: Plotting to Kill the President

February 13th, 2017
plotting to kill the president

A new history by the author of Hunting the President uncovers the long history of US presidential assassination attempts

Book Review: Powers of Darkness

February 9th, 2017
powers of darkness

As a revelatory new version shows, the original Icelandic translation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula took more than a few liberties with the text …

Book Review: The House of Truth

February 6th, 2017
the house of truth

A wide-ranging and deeply-researched new book chronicles the history of an influential Washington political salon

Book Review: Hardwick Hall

February 2nd, 2017
hhall stairs

The great old fortress of good taste, Hardwick Hall, is the focus of a beautiful new anthology of essays on the place’s storied art and architecture

Book Review: William the Conqueror

February 1st, 2017
william the conqueror

The latest volume in the Yale English Monarchs series is a hefty new biography of the man who started the whole series in the first place: William the Conqueror

Book Review: Montaigne

January 30th, 2017

An English-language translation of a monumental biography of the founder of modern essay form urges readers to remember the man, not the legend.

Book Review: Secrets of Churchill’s War Rooms

January 25th, 2017
war room

Down below the sidewalks of London, a warren of secret rooms housed the war effort while bombs were falling on the city; a lavish new book tours the war rooms.

Book Review: Three Days in January

January 19th, 2017
three days in january

As a new book about Eisenhower and Kennedy makes clear, transitions of presidential power, especially between rival parties, have always been testy.

Book Review: The House of the Dead

January 18th, 2017
the house of the dead

Long before the Soviet gulag, Russian dissidents, criminals, and political exiles were sent to the vast frozen wasteland of Siberia. A grim new book tells their stories.

Book Review: The Egyptians

January 16th, 2017
Book Review: The Egyptians

The Egyptian Revolution and its cataclysmic aftermath forms the subject of a riveting new book by a journalist and keen-eyed witness.

Book Review: Falling Ill

January 13th, 2017

From the late and much-honored poet CK Williams, one final work

Book Review: Making Faces

January 12th, 2017
making faces

The quintessential human feature – the large, expressive face – gets a thorough and fascinating scientific examination.

Book Review: The Lost Journalism of Ring Lardner

January 10th, 2017

The famed writer of “You Know Me Al” was also a life-long prolific deadline writer. An invaluable new book collects the journalism of Ring Lardner.

Book Review: John Singer Sargent – Figures and Landscapes

January 9th, 2017

The magnificent catalogue from Yale University Press of the paintings and drawing of John Singer Sargent comes to its conclusion with volume IX

Graphic Novel Review: Son of Superman

January 4th, 2017

In the first story-arc in the newest era of the ultimate comic-book hero, a deadly enemy threatens the young son of Superman