Two New Histories of Rivalries and Revisionism, From Cold War Berlin and Lenin’s Soviet Union

The Zookeepers' War: An Incredible True Story from the Cold War, by J.W. Mohnhaupt, translated from German by Shelley Frisch (Amazon / Book Depository) published November 12, 2019  The English translation of J.W. Mohnhaupt's German bestseller The Zookeepers' War opens with scenes from (West) Berlin's Zoological Garden as the Second World War reached Berlin's doorstep. It follows... Continue Reading →

Lindy West’s Irreverent Take on Politics, Pop Culture, and Patriarchy

Book review: The Witches Are Coming, by Lindy West (Amazon / Book Depository) If there is magic in Trump's ability to conjure reality out of hot air and spittle, there is an equally powerful magic in the opposite: in speaking the truth, unvarnished, about what we see, what we remember, what has been done to... Continue Reading →

4 New Release Mini-Reviews

Fall publishing season is in full swing and so many new books are out this month. Let's do some mini-reviews of a few October new releases, shall we? Vanity Fair's Women on Women, edited by Radhika Jones with David Friend, October 29 This book is full of women who are not like anybody else --... Continue Reading →

Slice-of-Life Stories From A Random Day

Book review: One Day, by Gene Weingarten (Amazon / Book Depository) Select an ordinary day at random, report it deeply, then tell it like it happened -- from midnight to midnight, the most basic, irreducible unit of human experience. Ideally, the more you'd learn, the more firmly you'd establish that in life, there's no such... Continue Reading →

Snapshots of the Summer of 1927

Book review: One Summer: America, 1927, by Bill Bryson (Amazon / Book Depository) Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs. The Federal Reserve made the mistake that precipitated the stock market crash. Al Capone enjoyed his last summer of eminence. The Jazz Singer was filmed. Television was created. Radio came of age. Sacco and Vanzetti were... Continue Reading →

Oral Histories from “The Last of the Soviets” #WITMonth

Book review: Secondhand Time, by Svetlana Alexievich (Amazon / Book Depository) In writing, I’m piecing together the history of “domestic,” “interior” socialism. As it existed in a person’s soul. I’ve always been drawn to this miniature expanse: one person, the individual. It’s where everything really happens. 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature winner Svetlana Alexievich's Secondhand Time is... Continue Reading →

The Wild, Wonderful World of Couchsurfing in Russia

Book review: Behind Putin's Curtain, by Stephan Orth (Amazon / Book Depository) Hamburg-based journalist Stephan Orth has written several books about his global couchsurfing adventures in unconventional locales. Orth brings a certain cheerful openness and humorous curiosity to his adventuring, and of the touristic method of couchsurfing, he mentions that it offers "the mutual gift... Continue Reading →

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑