What’s Behind Each Trump Cabinet Door

Book review: Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse, by John Nichols "Presidents can often be inconsequential - or foolish, or erratic, or incomprehensible. But presidencies are never any of those things. They are powerful, overarching, definitional.  They shape more than policies; they shape our sense of what the United States can be...Donald Trump's presidency will make America something different than it... Continue Reading →

An American’s Ideas and Impressions From Istanbul

Book review: Notes on a Foreign Country, by Suzy Hansen This is a book about an American living abroad in the era of American decline...As an American abroad now, [post-Iraq and Afghanistan wars] you do not have the same crazy, smiling confidence. You do not want to speak so loud. You feel always the vague risk of breaking something. In Turkey and... Continue Reading →

A Voice from the Gulag

Book review: The Day Will Pass Away, by Ivan Chistyakov (Amazon / Book Depository) So even my inner word recedes day by day into eternity until it reaches freezing point. You start believing they can make you lose all emotion. Yet every day brings you nearer to freedom. Only, what kind of path are you walking to get there?... Continue Reading →

Russia Through The Lens of Chelyabinsk

Book review: Putin Country, by Anne Garrels (Amazon / Book Depository) "When the meteor hit Chelyabinsk, it blazed across the sky, spewed out its shards, and then sank quietly into a lake. That's what many hoped the breakup of the Soviet Union would be like. It would end with a compliant Russia as benign as the rock... Continue Reading →

Devil In The Details: The Darkness of Steve Bannon

Book review: Devil's Bargain, by Joshua Green Amazon Trump, for his part, seemed to recognize that Bannon alone could focus and channel his uncanny political intuition with striking success. Bannon didn't make Trump president the way Rove did George W. Bush - but Trump wouldn't be president if it weren't for Bannon. Together, their power and reach... Continue Reading →

The Truth Behind a D.C. Mystery and Media Frenzy

Book review: Finding Chandra, by Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz Washington Post reporters and Pulitzer Prize winners Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz expand on their thirteen-part series about the truth of the Chandra Levy disappearance and murder investigations, revealing how police focused on Congressman Gary Condit, with whom the Bureau of Prisons intern was having... Continue Reading →

Shaking Up the Senate

Book review: Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, by Al Franken Al Franken would argue that, despite the title of his new book, he's not a giant of the Senate. That label is for the likes of Ted Kennedy and Mike Mansfield. But he certainly provides a lot of evidence in the book that argues... Continue Reading →

Essays On Her Own: Didion After Her Editor

Book review: After Henry, by Joan Didion (Amazon / Book Depository) There's no other storyteller like Joan Didion. She can take the most boring fact and spin a narrative yarn around it that boggles the mind. She can tie so many elements together in telling a story and making a point about politics, culture, or... Continue Reading →

Breaking Down the Clinton Campaign, Mistake by Mistake

Book review: Shattered, by Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes (Amazon / Book Depository) “The absurdities of the election - Russian cyberattacks, a rogue FBI director, and an orange-hued reality-TV star winning the Republican nomination - intensified the sense of grief for Hillary, Bill, and their inner circle.” As they did for all of us, really. Reporters Jonathan... Continue Reading →

Defending Hillary

Book review: The Destruction of Hillary Clinton, by Susan Bordo Professor, scholar, and Pulitzer Prize-nominee Susan Bordo is, like many others, astounded at the events of the past year that culminated in Donald Trump assuming power in Washington instead of Hillary Clinton. And like many, she's struggled to make sense of it all: of the... Continue Reading →

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