Category Archives: Books

Books: ‘All the Devils Are Here,’ ‘The Big Short’

  Read two books on the financial crisis this month: All the Devils Are Here, by Bethany Mclean and Joseph Nocera (Penguin , 2008) and The Big Short, by Michael Lewis (Norton, 2010). Both books are pretty good. They both … Continue reading

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Books: ‘God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe’

             Many Americans may think that conflict between the West and Islam is a 20th or 21st-century phenomenon. Perhaps we associate its beginning with the Munich massacres in 1972, or the Iran hostage crisis in … Continue reading

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Art and Work

Labor Day was officially recognized as a federal holiday in 1894, after the Pullman railroad workers’ strike.  President Grover Cleveland enacted the holiday into law as a gesture of reconciliation with the labor movement. Critics always complain that movies, television, … Continue reading

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Book Review: ‘Bossypants,’ by Tina Fey

Why are women not funny? This is, of course, a stupid question. Plenty of women are funny. Our culture’s baseline arbiter of funny, Saturday Night Live, now features a cast headlined by Kristen Wiig (who, as I figure things, is … Continue reading

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Book Review: Team of Rivals

In fifth grade, Mrs. Redding taught me that Lincoln was a great president who freed the slaves. In eleventh grade, Mrs. Hilfiger taught us that Lincoln was a great president who cared about slaves, but maybe not as much as … Continue reading

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Book Review: ‘Kapitoil,’ by Teddy Wayne and ‘Gilead’ by Marilynne Robinson

It takes a long darn time to read a book. And there’s so frickin’ many of ’em. And wouldn’t you much rather just pick up your PSP and play Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for thirty minutes? And you have … Continue reading

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Some Yeats to Start off the Day

I thought I’d start off the day with some Irish poetry:  THE SECOND COMING     Turning and turning in the widening gyre     The falcon cannot hear the falconer;     Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;   … Continue reading

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