Daniel Wiser: ‘Dictator’ book review

Daniel Wiser:  ‘Dictator’ book review

By Daniel Wiser In his Republic, Cicero produced one of history’s staunchest defenses for a career in politics. Composed in the late 50s B.C. while the Roman republic enjoyed a period of precarious stability under the triumvirate of Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus, and styled after the famous work of Plato, the Republic first addressed the claims […]

Joseph Bottum: Bernard Cornwell, ‘Warriors of the Storm’ book review

Joseph Bottum: Bernard Cornwell, ‘Warriors of the Storm’ book review

By Joseph Bottum We’re over twenty books into the series about Richard Sharpe, a British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. Four books into the adventures of Nathaniel Starbuck, fighting for the South in the American Civil War—along with three books of Warlord Chronicles, set in the years after Rome’s retreat from the British Isles, and […]

Matthew Walther: “John Le Carré, the biography” book review

Matthew Walther: “John Le Carré, the biography” book review

By Matthew Walther For sheer entertainment, there is no better postwar English novelist than John le Carré. When Adam Sisman tells us in his intriguing biography that the brilliant Karla trilogy of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honorable Schoolboy, and Smiley’s People was planned as a loose, extended novel cycle after the manner of Balzac’s Comédie humaine, the […]

John Greenya: ‘Frost: That was the Life That Was’ book review

John Greenya: ‘Frost: That was the Life That Was’ book review

FROST: THAT WAS THE LIFE THAT WAS By Neil Hegarty Ebury Press, $49.95, 352 pages This is an informative and entertaining book about a talented and complicated man, and if it is not quite a model biography, it is certainly a model authorized biography. Born in Tenterden, England in 1940, David Frost was a PK, […]

Claire Hopley: ‘The Widow’ book review

Claire Hopley: ‘The Widow’ book review

THE WIDOW By Fiona Barton New American Library, $26, 336 pages “The Widow” arrives from England recommended as “twisty psychological suspense” and “an electrifying debut thriller.” It’s not either of these. It’s more like a jigsaw puzzle. From the get-go you know how the final picture looks: in this case, you soon realize that Glen […]

Michael Taube: ‘Lincoln’s Political Thought’ book review

Michael Taube: ‘Lincoln’s Political Thought’ book review

LINCOLN’S POLITICAL THOUGHT By George Kateb Harvard University Press $24.95, 256 pages Lev Grossman, in his Jan. 31, 2008 Time magazine essay, “The Lincoln Compulsion,” made this intriguing observation: “There have been more books about Abraham Lincoln than any other American.” It’s true. A staggering 16,000 books have been written about the 16th U.S. president. […]

Philip Kopper: ‘Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates’ book review

Philip Kopper: ‘Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates’ book review

THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE TRIPOLI PIRATES; THE FORGOTTEN WAR THAT CHANGED AMERICAN HISTORY By Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger Sentinel, $27.95, 238 pages As a scholarly truism holds, “every generation rewrites history to suit itself,” the same might be said for every historian, and every news anchor who wants to be one. Brian Kilmeade of […]

Anthony J. Sadar: ‘The Triumph of Faith: Why the World is More Religious than Ever’ book review

Anthony J. Sadar: ‘The Triumph of Faith: Why the World is More Religious than Ever’ book review

THE TRIUMPH OF FAITH: WHY THE WORLD IS MORE RELIGIOUS THAN EVER By Rodney Stark Intercollegiate Studies Institute, $24.95, 272 pages Faith is strong, especially faith in secularization. In “The Triumph of Faith: Why the World is More Religious than Ever,” Rodney Stark challenges the popular notion that the world is becoming increasingly secular. Marshalling […]