Review: POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY by Michael B. Oren

Midnight At The Oasis

by Max Rodenbeck for NY Times Books (Jan. 28, 2007)

“Around the time of the War of Independence, America’s main contact with the Middle East consisted in trading Caribbean rum for Turkish opium. It’s hard not to wish, reading the epic story of this 230-year relationship, now usefully condensed into a single well-researched volume, that things could have remained as simple as the swapping of your recreational poison for mine.”

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Published in: on January 31, 2007 at 9:30 am  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: FALSE SELF by Linda Hopkins

Psycho Analyst

by Amy Bloom for NY Times Books (Jan. 21, 2007)

“If I were a snob, a liar, a drunk, a philanderer, an anti-Semite, a violent bully, a poseur and a menace to the vulnerable, I would want Linda Hopkins to write my biography.”

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Published in: on January 25, 2007 at 4:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: THE BASTARD OF ISTANBUL by Elif Shafak

Armenian in Istanbul

by Lorraine Adams for NY Times Books (Jan. 21, 2007)

“There is a moral putrescence peculiar to the denial of genocide. Yet denial’s practitioners are all around us. The Sudanese government calls the butchers of Darfur “self-defense militias.” ”

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Published in: on January 25, 2007 at 12:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review:THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE by Allen Rucker

A Very Bad Day

by Ada Calhoun for NY Times Books (Jan. 21, 2007)

“Allen Rucker, a baby boomer with a career as a self-described Hollywood hack, was always “an inveterate catastrophizer,” he writes in this slender memoir, anxious of having to repeat high school, of financial ruin, and of one of his sons becoming a terrorist.”

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Published in: on January 25, 2007 at 9:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Read It Online: THE DESCENT OF MAN by Charles Darwin (1874)

from Sacred Texts

2nd edition

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Published in: on January 24, 2007 at 7:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Read It Online: SACRED THEORY OF THE EARTH by Thomas Burnet (1691)

from Sacred Texts

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Published in: on January 19, 2007 at 7:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Read It Online: AMERICAN STANDARDS OF LIVING,1918-1988 by Clair Brown

from Google Book Search

Harper Collins/508 pages/1994

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Published in: on January 13, 2007 at 6:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: ON “THE WEALTH OF NATIONS” by P.J. O’ Rourke

Capitalist Punishment

by Allan Sloan for NY Times Books (Jan. 7, 2007)

“Before we had radio, telephones, television, the Internet and iPods, we had books. Long books. Complicated books. Books that got read, their length and complexity notwithstanding, because before talk shows and chat rooms, what else was there to do?”

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Published in: on January 12, 2007 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment