It would be easy to call her a chip off the old block, but it would also be wrong. Margolin makes it crystal clear that she hasn’t rode in on anyone’s coattails in becoming herself a well-known marijuana defense attorney that has witnessed firsthand the hypocrisy of America’s War on Drugs, which has always been primarily a war on marijuana, for the bulk of her entire life.
It’s not the purpose of this review to repeat much, or any, of Fleming’s life, his various jobs, relationships and in particular his wartime experiences. That’s what the book is for. Whether one ends up liking or disliking Fleming, thinking the (in my opinion mostly rather awful) Bond novels were the result of a midlife crisis or a desire to make money out of real or second-hand experiences, is a toss-up. But certainly Shakespeare has given his readers every chance to decide, on a good deal of evidence.
Near the middle of the book, Smith concludes her elimination experiment. Changing her habits has helped her regain her equilibrium, but the shift is not as drastic as she envisioned. Life looks the same as it did pre-pandemic but clearly something in her inner experience has changed.
Rediker is a professor, activist, and historian of the Atlantic slave trade. Writing in a contemporary and progressive way, he reveals this man’s courageous cry against the unfairness, brutal cruelty, and inexcusable ambivalence toward slave labor in all its forms. Lay is presented as an exemplar, and the author tells us how he was determined to devote “a study all its own” to Lay after discovering him in previous research.
In braiding his ruminative nonfiction with his soaring lyrical poetry, Mauch paints his 2020 in beautiful lines, hard truths, and the dual mundanity and terror of being stranded internationally as the world shut down. In writing from two Northern settings, Mauch explores what a time of rest and unrest can reveal about the human experience.
Each essay follows the same format. The author writes about the problem or challenge that he or she wants to give insight into, whether it’s composing characters from found images (Oliver Baez Bendorf, “Released from Forms”), or how to write authentic dialogue (Mira Jacob, “”Dialogue”) or how to portray real-life characters in journalism (Josh Neufeld, “Drawing the News”).
The book is primarily a history of airships and national pride. Throughout its pages we encounter one or another obsessive character who has a glorious vision, who is great at self-promoting, and who – all evidence to the contrary– believes he can attain the impossible. A safe, powerful, fast-moving airship. But all, all, are either building their vision upon faulty information, bad and dangerous science, and airy visions.
Dearborn writes with such clarity, and with so much good-natured acceptance and linguistic beauty, that the revelations which pepper this book are like rockets propelling the narrative. It’s a real skill, allowing the book to take on the rhythm and pacing of Russell’s slow decline while incorporating a modern perspective and synthesis.
Carolyn Downs’ book is a must-read for anyone who’s ever dabbed a bingo card, called out a winning line, or simply wondered about the enduring appeal of this timeless game. It’s an affectionate, comprehensive and fascinating journey through the history of bingo, and a testament to its cultural, social and economic influence.
Liberalism may well be a sentiment, for Jews and everyone else, as Walzer argues. But it is far more than that, and we forget its political content at our peril. Liberalism forces hard political and economic choices and forecloses some options. Sentiment and moral stance, necessary though they may be, is not enough, and never has been.