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"
This film was “inspired by a true story,” which should clue you in that while dealing with some actual historical events many details have been fictionalized. There was indeed a black man who served seven different US Presidents as a White House butler. But his name wasn’t Cecil Gaines, he didn’t grow up on a […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Lee Daniel’s The Butler (2013)"
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"
Elizabeth Warren: Her Fight, Her Work, Her Life by Antonia Felix (Biography, 2018). It may seem a bit early for a full biography of Senator Warren, given that she is–in terms of her political career–still in the early prime of life. Much more may be forthcoming from her, but she is one of the leading figures […]Read more "REVIEWED: Elizabeth Warren: Her fight, Her Work, Her Life"
The Death of Truth by Michiko Kakutani (Political/Cultural Essays, 2018). The author, a well-known literary critic and astute cultural observer, here offers “Notes On Falsehood In The Age Of Trump” (to quote the 208-page book’s subtitle). The book is already a best-seller, and deservedly so. It’s a levelheaded look at how respect for the facts, upon […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Death of Truth"
Everything You Love Will Burn by Vegas Tenold (Nonfiction/Investigative Journalism, February 2018). Originally from Norway, the author is an investigative journalist who graduated from Columbia University’s School of Journalism and has covered important stories all over the world. His focus for the last six years was on documenting and trying to understand America’s various White Nationalist/White […]Read more "REVIEWED: Everything You Love Will Burn"
Mothers of Massive Resistance by Elizabeth Gillespie McRae (History/Politics/White Supremacy Movements, 2018). Massive Resistance is the term social scientists usually give for how some white Americans sought to oppose racial desegregation, especially in the South in the 1950s and ’60s. The usual focus of scholarly and/or academic studies of this history is on the activities of […]Read more "REVIEWED: Mothers of Massive Resistance"