Jenny Erpenbeck on Life, Literature, and Activism

Book review: Not a Novel, by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Kurt Beals If the language that you can speak isn't enough, that's a very good reason to start writing. As paradoxical as it may be: The impossibility of expressing what happens to us in words is what pushes us towards writing. Whenever I haven't been... Continue Reading →

Investigating Donald Trump, and Why It’s Failed

Book review: True Crimes and Misdemeanors, by Jeffrey Toobin That was the whole case right there, stripped to its essentials. Trump didn't care about the people of Ukraine, who were fighting for their lives. (Nor, it was clear, did he care about American laws, norms, or national security interests.) All Trump cared about was the... Continue Reading →

Masha Gessen On Our Autocracy

Book review: Surviving Autocracy, by Masha Gessen (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist and author Masha Gessen lived through the changes of the Soviet Union, including Putin's ascendancy and increasing control over the state media. Gessen’s reported and written extensively about totalitarianism and the relationship of Putin's Russia with the west. In Surviving Autocracy, Gessen turns this... Continue Reading →

In the Dictators’ Kitchens

How to Feed a Dictator, by Witold Szabłowski, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Amazon / Book Depository) Polish journalist Witold Szabłowski saw a movie about army cooks that featured Branko Trbovic, the personal cook to Marshal Josip Broz Tito, "the absolute ruler of Yugoslavia" and describes it as being a lightbulb moment: "I started wondering what... Continue Reading →

The Dirty Deeds of Deutsche Bank

Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction, by David Enrich (Amazon / Book Depository) This is the story of Deutsche Bank’s rise and fall. It is about the men who transformed a sleepy German lender into what was, for a time, the largest bank in the world, but who also... Continue Reading →

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