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Book Review: “Ginster” — The Numbness, not the Glory, of War

May 29, 2024
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The reissue of this novel now is valuable, beyond its considerable historical and aesthetic virtues, because it makes pertinent points about today’s world, bedeviled by war, misery, poverty, and the enticing lure of despotism as an answer to democracy’s shortcomings.

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Music Festival Review: Boston Calling 2024 — A Combustible Parade

May 29, 2024
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Boston Calling has evolved into a smorgasbord of everything from indie to mainstream, from pop to hip-hop to hard rock.

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Jazz Remembrance: David Sanborn, Way Beyond Smooth

May 28, 2024
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He was lucky to be so well-rewarded for doing what he loved to do, and we were always lucky to hear him.

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Visual Arts Commentary: “Razzle Dazzle” in Red — Jonathan Yeo Hails (?) the King

May 28, 2024
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The fact that King Charles went along with Jonathan Yeo’s amped-up riff on academic portraiture intrigues, especially in light of his peevish opposition to modernist architecture.

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Book Review: 50 Years Ago — A Cage Match between Artist and Coyote

May 27, 2024
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It is ironic — but understandable — that 50 years ago only a handful of people experienced what has become one of the iconic happenings of 20th century art.

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Television Review: “Bridgerton”‘s Third Season — Let’s Hope for the Best

May 26, 2024
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It is early in the season and my heart is hopeful, dear reader, that Bridgerton will re-capture its former magic.

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Film/Album Review: “Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums” — A Superb Documentary About a Brilliant Artist

May 25, 2024
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Part of what makes pianist Omar Sosa such a fascinating (and successful) musician is how his complex music constantly dances back and forth, between charming the mind and charging up the body.

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Book Review: “Alfred Dreyfus: The Man at the Center of the Affair” — More Relevant Than Ever

May 25, 2024
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We should take courage from this splendid work about how truth and justice triumphed over stupidity and prejudice, and how much the loyalty and love and determination of one remarkable family could accomplish a hundred and thirty years ago.

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Film Review: “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” – A Full-Throated Banshee’s Cry

May 24, 2024
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The “Mad Max” series is one of the few franchises in history that’s only gotten better with age, likely because George Miller’s refined and tinkered with his distinctive vision via each new development in filmmaking technology.

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Book Review: “Faraway the Southern Sky” — Portrait of a Young Revolutionary

May 24, 2024
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“Faraway the Southern Sky” is an extraordinary literary achievement because it makes real and present the scuffling life and education of the very young man who grew up to become Ho Chi Minh.

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