America’s Most Fragile

Book review: Glass House, by Brian Alexander Journalist Brian Alexander is a native of Lancaster, Ohio, a city highlighted by Forbes in 1947 with the shining, post-war pride declaration, “This is America.” Now it’s one of many towns in America’s Rust Belt that’s fallen victim to plagues of misfortune in recent decades – the restructuring and eventual closures of big companies, leading to economic bust and rampant opiate abuse. These towns … Continue reading America’s Most Fragile

Outsiders Bearing Witness to Revolution

Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd, Russia, 1917 – A World on the Edge by Helen Rappaport (Amazon / Book Depository) Helen Rappaport, author of 2014’s popular history The Romanov Sisters, among other titles on history and royals both Russian and otherwise, explains in her acknowledgments for Caught in the Revolution that while working as a historian she was struck by “…how much seemed to have been written about … Continue reading Outsiders Bearing Witness to Revolution

How a World Meets Its End

Book review: At the End of the World, by Lawrence Millman (Amazon / Book Depository) In the winter of 1941, when most of the world was concerned with the Second World War raging in Europe, a different drama was unfolding on the remote Belcher Islands of Canada’s Hudson Bay. In a religious frenzy, three Inuit became convinced that two of them were the reincarnations of … Continue reading How a World Meets Its End

Anatomy of an Injustice

Book review: Adnan’s Story: Murder, Justice, and the Case that Captivated a Nation, by Rabia Chaudry (Amazon / Book Depository) Like countless others, I was all-consumingly fascinated with the story presented in the Serial podcast back in fall 2014. We’re aware that miscarriages of justice exist in the American judicial system, yet we also put an immense amount of faith in this system to work as it should. When an … Continue reading Anatomy of an Injustice

Our Strange Addiction

Book review: True Crime Addict, by James Renner (Amazon / Book Depository) I was so excited to read this. I’m also a true crime addict, and it’s a weird thing to be. You can’t really mention it at parties or anything. Luckily we’re in an uptick of true crime, in different mediums, thanks to popular installments like the Serial podcast and The Jinx miniseries. I’ve been fascinated by … Continue reading Our Strange Addiction

Ladies of the City of Light’s Darkest Days

Book review: Les Parisiennes, by Anne Sebba (Amazon / Book Depository) Anne Sebba writes in her extensive history of the lives of Parisian women during WWII that it’s our task to understand, not to judge. And the women whose lives are covered range across such a broad spectrum, from those with selfless motives and actions to those who didn’t act as honorably as might be … Continue reading Ladies of the City of Light’s Darkest Days