Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas by Stephen Budiansky (Historical Biography, 2019). This extensive and fair-minded biography of perhaps history’s single most influential Associate Justice of the American Supreme Court is something special, indeed. It gives us a great, nuanced portrait of a true intellectual, a man of convictions and courage. Yet […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Oliver Wendell Holmes"
As always, I have a number of projects going at once. Hence this blog is in the nature of a ‘head’s up’ for any and all interested parties. In the next couple days (probably this Thursday), I’ll be posting my review of the 2013 film Lee Daniel’s The Butler here. It’s a somewhat fictionalized account of […]Read more "Various Coming Attractions"
Chaucer’s People by Liza Picard (Historical/Literary Nonfiction, American Edition 2019). Liza Picard has written a series of books on various aspects of English history. For her latest, published in England in 2017, with its American edition now out, she uses Geoffrey Chaucer’s best known work as a springboard into an entertaining and informative account of what […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Chaucer’s People"
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold (History/Investigative Journalism, 2019). There have been countless books, TV and radio shows, movies and stage plays related to the mass-murderer known as Jack the Ripper. Well-known social historian Hallie Rubenhold takes an intelligent, well-researched and breathtakingly original look at these […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: The Five"
Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier’s First Gunfighter by Tom Clavin (History/Biography, February 2019). Tom Clavin, a best-selling and multiple award-winning historical writer, ably follows up his history of one of the Wildest of the Wild West’s cow-towns (Dodge City) with this carefully researched and entertainingly written account of James Butler (“Wild Bill”) […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Wild Bill"
Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking (Science Essays, 2018). The most renowned scientist since Einstein, Stephen Hawking had assembled the ten essays on major (and in some ways controversial) science-and-philosophy-related issues facing the world’s people before his death. Now they have been published posthumously, book-ended by thoughtful remembrances of the man by actor […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Brief Answers to the Big Questions"
Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry (Biography, 2018). Taken by cancer in 1965, Lorraine Hansberry crammed a great deal of living and achievement into 34 years. A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry’s best-known creation, was the first work of an African-American author on Broadway. Decades later, it’s still […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Looking for Lorraine"