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GOD SAVE HRC, FROM REALITY — Jeffrey St. Clair on Hillary Clinton’s miraculous rags-to-riches method of financial success; LA CONFIDENTIAL: Lee Ballinger on race, violence and inequality in Los Angeles; PAPER DRAGON: Peter Lee on China’s military; THE BATTLE OVER PAT TILLMAN: David Hoelscher provides a 10 year retrospective on the changing legacy of Pat Tillman; MY BROTHER AND THE SPACE PROGRAM: Paul Krassner on the FBI and rocket science. PLUS: Mike Whitney on how the Central Bank feeds state capitalism; JoAnn Wypijewski on what’s crazier than Bowe Bergdahl?; Kristin Kolb on guns and the American psyche; Chris Floyd on the Terror War’s disastrous course.
Archives by Tag 'book review'
Empty Life
CHARLES R. LARSON
A few years ago I read John Williams’ masterpiece, ...
Art Means Always Having to Say You’re Sorry
ADAM ENGEL
To say a book about Hemingway was written in “lean, muscular prose” would stretch many kilometers beyond cliché at this point. But if the shoe fits…and Clancy Sigal’s...
When the Devil Smiles at You
CHARLES R. LARSON
Charles Taylor (the madman of Liberia) has his footprint all over Alexander Maksik’s second novel, ...
Beyond “Spitters and Haters”
MICHAEL UHL
The Vietnam War seems to be drawing attention increasingly from researchers born during or after the tumultuous decade in which that deadly drama played out.  One sees mostly this generation’s higher profile works, like Fredrik Logevall’s ...
Family Violence
CHARLES R. LARSON
I confess to ignorance about Lotería, a Mexican game of chance resembling bingo—except, i...
Bottom Feeders
CHARLES R. LARSON
If memory serves, my first encounter with James Agee was sometime in 1957 when the Book Find Club published the author’s posthumous novel, ...
War’s Lasting Wounds
CHARLES LARSON
My admiration for William Wharton began in 1978 with the publication of his first novel, Birdy, the story of a young man who, well, believes that he is a bird—or at least that he should be able to fly like a bird.  By any measure, it’s an extraordinary novel t...
Pre-Teen Revolutionaries
CHARLES R. LARSON
It’s difficult to remember when I last read a novel as chilling as Giorgio Vasta’s Time on My Hands.  The writer, who is Italian, frames his story in 1978, when Italy was politically unstable (more than typical for the time).  Aldo Moro, the former Italian pr...
Globalization Run Amuck
CHARLES R. LARSON
There’s a brutal realization at the end of Edoardo Nesi’s Story of My People, one of the...
Afghan and American Misunderstandings
CHARLES R. LARSON
The best plan would be skip this review and run out and purchase a copy of Nadeem Aslam’s The Blin...
Terrorism of the State
RON JACOBS
The interview is one of the journalist’s best tools. If done right, an interview provides a considerable amount of information about the views of the interviewee and interviewer, while also informing the reader about the subjects covered. Certain journalists made the in...
The Detachment of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
FARZANA VERSEY
“I want a happiness without a hole in it, I want the bowl without a crack” –From ‘The Golden Bowl’ Mumbai. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s screenplays did not scream, or even appear to make profound st...
The South, Again, and Race
CHARLES R. LARSON
Although the term “good slave owner” is no doubt an oxymoron, it is not difficult to refer to one of Margaret Wrinkle’s white characters in her haunting novel, ...
Mo Yan and the Use of Satire
RON JACOBS
Since receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2012, Chinese writer Mo Yan has been subjected to a torrent of criticism from western reviewers and other scribes.  Most of this criticism focuses on what they perceive to be a lackluster criticism of the Chinese governme...
Adventures Down the Alimentary Canal
CHARLES R. LARSON
So—if you assume as I did that Mary Roach’s Gulp will be straight narration down the ali...
Albania’s Brutal History
CHARLES R. LARSON
Novels about life under totalitarian regimes are generally not very uplifting.  Think of Romanian novelist Herta Muller’s recent works translated into English.  Or go back a little further—to the Baltics or Eastern Europe—and fiction that dwells on Communism’s...
A Microcosm of the Nation–Control Unit Prisons
RON JACOBS
In the late 1990s and early part of this century I worked as a researcher and writer for the journal Southland Prison News.  This small journal usually ran about thirty pages and was sent out to prisoners incarcerated primarily in the US South.  Edited by an inma...
A Day in the Life of a Syrian Writer
CHARLES R. LARSON
Close in its structure to Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich ...
More Than Turmoil of the Adolescent Mind
CHARLES R. LARSON
There’s a perverse desire for understanding in Manuel Joseph’s second novel, The Illicit...
On Being Stalked
CHARLES R. LARSON
At the end of James Lasdun’s chilling account of being stalked, Give Me Everything You Have...
The Coup of Coups
RON JACOBS
If there is one nation whose political situation has been omnipresent and important to the history of the past seventy-five years, it would be Iran.  Much to the dismay of those imperial powers that have tried to subdue and manipulate them, Iran’s people have refused t...
Engulfed in British Prejudice
CHARLES R. LARSON
Though Kamala Markandaya (1924-2004) spent most of her life as a writer in England, her eleven novels (beginning with Nectar in a Sieve, 1954), were set almost exclusively in India, typically depicting traditional life and values and the ways they came into conflic...
Dog, Man and God
CHARLES R. LARSON
Yes, there is a white dog in Eleanor Morse’s lovely novel—lovely, in spite of its violence—and, it is with that dog that we should begin.  Apparently abandoned, or at least a stray, white dog (a female) begins following Isaac Muthethe when he escapes from South Af...
The Man Who Politicized the Sports Pages (Again)
RON JACOBS
If a journalist wants to paint crazy pictures of alliteration and description, then the place for them to write used to be in the sports section. Speculation and flights of poetic fancy were not only allowed but expected. That most iridescent of journalists, Hunter S. Tho...
Twelve Cycles of Dysfunction
CHARLES R. LARSON
The opening chapter (“Philadelphia and Jubilee, 1925”) of Ayana Mathis’s disturbing story, Th...