May 22, 2006 |
Royals and the Reich The Princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany Jonathan Petropoulos Oxford University Press: 524 pp., $37.50 * ONE picture in particular stands out among the many revealing photographs included in this comprehensive and engrossing book.
November 21, 2005 |
H.L. MENCKEN -- Henry to his friends -- has always been a hard nut to crack. Now Marion Elizabeth Rodgers has, for once and for all, just about done it. Her "Mencken: The American Iconoclast" tells us things we didn't know about the journalist, editor, social critic and wit -- and takes fresh looks at those we did. In clear and forceful prose he would have approved of, Rodgers gives Mencken (1880-1956) his rightful place in American literature and life. Her book is long but captivating.
November 4, 2005 |
Fat Politics The Real Story Behind America's Obesity Epidemic J. Eric Oliver Oxford University Press: 228 pp., $28 * PIMA Indians living in southern Arizona today are among the heaviest people in the world. The average Pima woman weighs 200 pounds; men weigh more. Before the 1940s, most Pima sported lean, muscular physiques.
August 7, 2005 |
"THIS changes everything, forever," the media repeated in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Perhaps they were right, but not necessarily in ways they had in mind. The most insidious and long-lasting effect of the attacks seems to be the paralyzing and politically corrosive anxiety. Saddam Hussein and the Taliban are gone, but fear remains, spreading and intensifying.
July 10, 2005 |
John HAFFENDEN'S superb "William Empson: Among the Mandarins," the first of a two-volume biography of Britain's most brilliant and influential literary critic, captures the multiple angles of an unusually complex man.
May 10, 2005 |
There are 788 U.N. World Heritage sites: The Galapagos Islands of Ecuador and England's Stonehenge pop to mind immediately. Of America's 20 venues, most -- like Yellowstone and the Statue of Liberty -- are easily accessible destinations with well-understood histories. By contrast, Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico is hard to reach and enigmatic.
April 12, 2005 |
Andrew J. Bacevich's "The New American Militarism" is a concise, sinewy book that looks at the emperor and concludes that indeed he has no clothes. Bacevich makes the case calmly but with piercing clarity that during the latter half of the 20th century the United States slipped, almost imperceptibly, into a general state of belief that all its major challenges could be met, and all its largest problems solved, by going to war.
March 13, 2005 |
Nestled amid the six volumes of "The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion (1861-65)," a grisly scientific chronicle devoted to the Civil War's 625,000 casualties, there appears, if anyone cares to look, the appalling case of one John M. Although this unfortunate 19-year-old private in the 101st New York might warrant special attention due to the bizarre nature of his injury (a Minie ball passed through his bladder and exited his right buttock at Second Bull Run on Aug.
March 13, 2005 |
Arguably the greatest jazz guitar player ever, Django Reinhardt is also one of the most outlandish characters in the history of the music. Perhaps best known to many Americans as the musical obsession of Sean Penn's character in Woody Allen's "Sweet and Lowdown," Django was an illiterate Parisian gypsy with a crippled left hand who nonetheless was the first and most significant jazz talent to emerge from Europe.