Insights and Introspections From a Former President

A Promised Land, by Barack Obama Is it even worth reviewing former President Barack Obama's book? What can I add to any discussion? It sells itself; you probably already knew before it came out whether you would read it or not. I struggled with whether I had anything meaningful to say about it, or if... Continue Reading →

New Looks at Europe Post-Communism

Book review: Café Europa Revisited: How to Survive Post-Communism, by Slavenka Drakulic What a weird day to be writing about a book on democracy in Europe, as it teeters precariously in the United States. But I think Americans would do well to consider democratic processes and totalitarian histories in Europe, because it's abundantly clear that... Continue Reading →

Three On (In)Justice

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was picked up for a murder that he not only didn't commit, but that he ridiculously couldn't have committed: he'd been locked into a warehouse working an overnight shift miles away when the robbery and shooting occurred. No problem for the prosecution, though - they just alleged he scaled a... Continue Reading →

Past and Future of the Pandemic

Apollo's Arrow, by Nicholas A. Christakis (Bookshop.org) It seemed to me that the novel coronavirus was a threat that was both wholly new and deeply ancient. Yale sociologist, public health educator, and former hospice physician Nicholas A. Christakis's Apollo's Arrow covers the coronavirus pandemic, drawing comparisons to previous plagues and pandemics from history and mythology,... Continue Reading →

Two Books of Reportage Around ISIS

All Lara's Wars, by Wojciech Jagielski, translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Bookshop.org) I sent them to Omar myself... But my thinking was that it might finally put them off war -- they'd see what it can do to a man, how badly it can destroy him. Then they wouldn't imagine it was just heroism,... Continue Reading →

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