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ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2010 | By Wendy Smith, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Studded with vivid character sketches and evocative descriptions of the American landscape, journalist Judy Pasternak's scarifying account of uranium mining's disastrous consequences often reads like a novel — though you will wish that the bad guys got punished as effectively as they do in commercial fiction. Real life is complicated, and Pasternak, a veteran of 24 years with the Los Angeles Times, does justice to the historical and ethical ambiguities of her tale while crafting a narrative of exemplary clarity.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 2012 | By Kerry Luft, Tribune Newspapers
Hope is easier to embrace than reality. That is one of the themes of Jodi Kantor's new book, "The Obamas," which tells the story of the first couple's arrival in the White House and their subsequent struggles to adapt to Washington and its ways while facing expectations that may have been equaled only in the early days of John F. Kennedy's Camelot. Kantor's account of the Obamas' first weeks in the capital is a reminder of a euphoria that seems very far away today, as the president continues to grapple with a tepid economy and the lock step Republican opposition to almost every facet of his agenda.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 19, 2011 | By Wendy Smith, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century Scott Miller Random House: 432 pp., $28 Veteran journalist Scott Miller has done something very interesting in his first book: He has conjoined two kinds of histories to create a portrait of the United States at the turn of the 20th century as a country divided between worldviews so radically dissimilar that they hardly seemed to be describing...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2011 | By Lori Kozlowski, Los Angeles Times
It's the way that we talk that fascinates Ralph Keyes. The words we choose to express the hurtful, the bawdy and what we perceive as shameful are of particular interest ? because those are the subjects society feels the need to cover up. We switch from "sex" to "sleeping together;" from "dead" to "pushing up daisies;" even "chicken breast" became "white meat" after Winston Churchill was once scolded for using it at a dinner party. The follow-up to Keyes' first effort on linguistics ?
ENTERTAINMENT
October 31, 2010 | Kate Bernheimer, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Storyteller The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl Donald Sturrock Simon & Schuster: 658 pp., $30 I was sitting on an airplane with a copy of "Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl" when an elegant woman in the seat next to me murmured, almost to herself, "I live just down the lane from his old cottage in Oxfordshire. " Turning to her with excitement I asked if she'd ever run into him. "Oh, no, no," she said with obvious amusement, as if the very suggestion was completely absurd.
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