Review: OTHER PEOPLE’S PROPERTY by Jason Tanz & TO THE BREAK OF DAWN by William Jelani Cobb

One Nation Under Hip-Hop

by Adam Bradley for Washington Post/Book World (Jan. 28, 2007)

“Hip-hop is dead. That’s what rap legend Nas claims in the title of his latest album. He just might be right. According to Nielsen Soundscan, album sales in all genres declined by nearly 5 percent in 2006, largely attributable to the increasing popularity of digital downloads.”

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Published in: on January 30, 2007 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: DIRT FOR ART’S SAKE by Elisabeth Landensen

Lusty Literature

by John Sutherland for Washington Post/Book Worlld (Jan. 28, 2007)

“Elisabeth Ladenson’s witty meditation on literary obscenity pivots on “irony, paradox, and absurdity.” How, she ruminates, can one generation’s “dirt” be another generation’s “art”? “How does an obscene work become a classic?” It’s a fascinating set of hows.”

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Published in: on January 30, 2007 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: SOMETHING IN THE AIR by Marc Fisher

The Rise of Radio

by Douglas Brinkley for Washington Post/Book World (Jan.28, 2007)

“Ear-splitting static was the curse of AM radio in its formative decades. A far-off bolt of lightning or stiff wind would cause a wallop of staccato crackles, pops and buzzes to emanate out of your home box. Determined to get the static out of radio, David Sarnoff, one of the founders of both RCA and NBC, put his technical mastermind, Edwin Armstrong of Columbia University, on the case.”

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Published in: on January 30, 2007 at 1:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: MANDELA by Tom Lodge and MANDELA by Andrews McMeel

Long Walk To Freedom

by Glenn Frankel for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 24, 2006)

“”A leader is like a shepherd,” Nelson Mandela proclaimed more than a decade ago in his autobiography. “There are times when a leader must move out ahead of his flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people in the right way.” ”

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Published in: on January 4, 2007 at 3:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: WHAT PAUL MEANT by Gary Willis

The Resurrection of Paul

by Harvey Cox for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 24, 2006)

“Poor St. Paul. He is not in particularly good odor nowadays. A deluge of recent books and films has swept Jesus back into the public eye, but the apostle to the gentiles, whose Epistles fill nearly as many pages in the New Testament as the Gospels, languishes under a cloud of contempt.”

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Published in: on December 30, 2006 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: MOSCOW 1941 by Rodric Braithwaite

The Hinge of Fate

by Andrey Slivka for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 24, 2006)

“What was existence like in Stalin’s Moscow at the most fraught moment in the Soviet Union’s weird history, when the German army was miles away from overrunning the city, with possibly genocidal results?”

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Published in: on December 30, 2006 at 9:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: THE GREAT ESCAPE by Kati Marton

Out of Hungary

by Geoffrey Wheatcroft for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 2 , 2006)

“In his wonderful book Danube, a discursive, literary and historical journey downstream, the Italian writer Claudio Magris rightly called Budapest the most beautiful city on the whole river. Its story has also been fascinating and deeply troubled: While fin de si?cle Vienna has become something of a standby for cultural commentators, Budapest had just as vivid a tale to tell.”

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Published in: on December 30, 2006 at 8:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: COTTON SONG by Tom Bailey

Angel

by Kim McLarin for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 2 , 2006)

“The smart writer looking for a novel idea could do worse than a good old-fashioned Black Angel tale. Whether in novels ( The Stand, The Secret Life of Bees) or films ( Ghost, The Legend of Bagger Vance), such stories are ever-popular: A white hero or heroine in physical, emotional and/or spiritual trouble is taught important lessons about life and love by a black character who exists solely to do so. Bonus points if the black savior possesses not just supernatural wisdom but actual magical powers ( The Green Mile). Double bonus points if the person saved is a child ( Bees, Clara’s Heart).”

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Published in: on December 29, 2006 at 2:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: A DEAD LANGUAGE by Peter Rushforth

Boys To Men

by Elizabeth Hand for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 24, 2006)

”  “To die in an instant, without premonition, among close friends, walking through wonderful countryside towards a fine lunch, is probably as good an end as anyone could hope for.”

So wrote Colin Rendall in the Guardian obituary for his friend the novelist Peter Rushforth, who died last year at the age of 60 after suffering a heart attack while hiking on the Yorkshire moors.”

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Published in: on December 29, 2006 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: WOODWARD AND BERNSTEIN by Alicia Shepard

Personal History

by Samuel G. Freedman for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 24, 2006)

“During a handful of days in April 1976, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein went from being esteemed and honored investigative journalists to something we would now call a brand. Their first book — All the President’s Men, the saga of the two young Metro reporters’ Watergate sleuthing for The Washington Post — topped the paperback bestseller list.”

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Published in: on December 29, 2006 at 2:22 pm  Leave a Comment