Sunday, June 12, 2011

Book Review Round-up

Ralph Luker at Cliopatria has had great coverage of book news lately.  Meanwhile, apologies for my radio silence, but I am juggling a perfect storm of deadlines and other obligations.  Here are reviews of interest from Ralph's posts during the past week:
Cullen Murphy, "The Idea of Germany, From Tacitus to Hitler," NYT, 10 June, reviews Christopher B. Krebs's A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's "Germania" From the Roman Empire to the Third Reich.

A. S. Byatt reviews Jacqueline Yallops's Magpies, Squirrels and Thieves: How the Victorians Collected the World for the Guardian, 11 June.

Timothy Snyder, "Love and Death," TNR, 9 June, reviews Georg Adler, Peter Hudis, and Annelies Laschitza, eds., The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg, trans. by George Shriver.

Jacob Heilbrunn, "Did J.F.K. Lose Berlin?" NYT, 10 June, and Alex von Tunzelmann for the Washington Post, 10 June, review Frederick Kempe's Berlin, 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth.

Stanley Kanfer, "Films in Fraught Times," WSJ, 30 April, reviews J. Hoberman's An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War and Nick Smedley's A Divided World: Hollywood Cinema and Émigré Directors In the Era of Roosevelt and Hitler, 1933-1948. Andrew Hultkranz, "The Paranoid Style," bookforum, Summer, reviews Hoberman's An Army of Phantoms.

Tariq Ali, "Andropov was right," LRB, 16 June, reviews Rodric Braithwaite's Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-89 and Artemy Kalinovsky's A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Donald Worster, "The Transcontinental Travesty," Slate, 6 June, reviews Richard White's Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America. Jonathan Yardley for the Washington Post, 3 June, and Patrick Cooke, "Interstate Highways as a Long-Haul Project, WSJ, 4 June, review Earl Swift's The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways.

Chris Lehmann, "Little Churches Everywhere: California's Evangelical Conservatism," Nation, 27 June, reviews Darren Dochuk's From Bible Belt to Sun Belt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism and Matthew Avery Sutton's Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America.

Timothy Snyder, "A New Approach to the Holocaust," NYRB, 23 June, reviews Peter Longerich's Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews, Longerich's Heinrich Himmler: Biographie, Catherine Epstein's Model Nazi: Arthur Greiser and the Occupation of Western Poland, and Andrej Angrick's and Peter Klein's The  "Final Solution" in Riga: Exploitation and Annihilation, 1941–1944, translated by Ray Brandon.

Isaac Chotiner, "Bigness," The Book, 6 June, Dwight Garner, "A Biography of Millions," NYT, 8 June, and Richard Rayner for the LA Times, 12 June, review Patrick French's India: A Portrait. French, "5 Things We Get Wrong About India," Daily Beast, 7 June, draws on his research for the book.

John Noble Wilford, "After 90 Years, a Dictionary of an Ancient World," NYT, 6 June, assesses the importance of the 21 volume Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

In Franco Moretti, "Network Theory, Plot Analysis," New Left Review, March/April, the Stanford scholar applies his quantitative analysis of literature to Shakespeare's "Hamlet." It's available here to nonsubscribers. Richard Beck, "Hamlet and the region of death," Boston Globe, 29 May, interviews Moretti.

Alexander Bevilacqua, "Beyond Orientalism," n+1, 6 June, reviews Nabil I. Matar's Islam in Britain, 1558-1685, Alastair Hamilton's and Francis Richard's André du Ryer and Oriental Studies in Seventeenth-Century France, Paula Sutter Fichtner's Terror and Toleration: The Habsburg Empire Confronts Islam, 1526-1850, Ziad Elmarsafy's The Enlightenment Qur'an: The Politics of Translation and the Construction of Islam, and Jürgen Osterhammel's Die Entzauberung Asiens: Europa und die asiatischen Reiche im 18. Jahrhundert.
You can follow Ralph's posts at Cliopatria.  And for breaking book news, try my usual source:  Arts & Letters Daily.

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