Books

Book Review: “Beethoven in the Bunker” — A Welcome, But Scattered, Point of Departure

May 28, 2023
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In place of coherent, in-depth analysis, the author has provided us with a series of short profiles on various individuals, some of them familiar, others less so. The tack presents problems that can’t be overcome.

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Book Review: Searching for “Truth and Repair” — Asking Rape Survivors For Their Vision of Justice

May 26, 2023
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For real change to happen, argues Judith Herman, “crimes of dominance and subordination would need to be approached as a matter of public health as well as public safety, with prevention as a primary goal.”

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Book Review: A Life of Russian Poet Osip Mandelstam — “An Attenuated Voice of Freedom”

May 25, 2023
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The biography is a workmanlike introduction, valuable because it brings a measured understanding to Osip Mandelstam’s life and poetry as well as to the horrific decades he lived through.

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Book Review: “But God Made Him a Poet: John Ford” — An Essential Book on a World-Class American Director

May 18, 2023
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What makes Scout Tafoya’s book a radical departure from earlier studies is his in-your-face challenges to John Ford’s character and his racial politics.

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Visual Art/Design Book Review: “America Goes Modern” — The Triumph of the Beautiful and the Functional

May 17, 2023
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America Goes Modern does splendid justice to the genesis of a miraculous design phenomenon.

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Visual Art Preview: “Days of Punk” Showcases Hallowed Era in Boston’s Music History

May 16, 2023
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This is the first time Michael Grecco, who was a photojournalist for the Associated Press from 1978-83 and then a staff photographer for the Boston Herald — while regularly shooting shows at night for WBCN and Boston Rock — will exhibit this collection in the U.S. northeast.

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Book Reviews: Chronicles of Russia’s War on Ukraine — Hope Is the Thing with Teeth

May 15, 2023
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Two powerufl volumes show that Ukraine’s greatest weapons against Russia are hope and unity.

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Book Review: “Künstlers in Paradise” — A Beach Read for the Cultured Sunbather

May 15, 2023
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This is a whimsical, well-written novel about an artistically respected Jewish family who managed to escape Nazi-annexed Austria at a perilously late date — September, 1939.

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Book Review: “Second Star and other reasons for lingering” — Making the Case for Concentration

May 14, 2023
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The point of the revelatory exercises in Second Star is to mentally invigorate, to sharpen how we look at the things in plain sight that we take for granted.

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Book Review: “Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs” — Surveying the Surveillance State

May 12, 2023
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Kerry Howley’s expose is a vibrant report on the chaotic and often disquieting world of surveillance and national security.

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