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Recently Published

Thomas Vinciguerra Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E. B. White, James Thurber, and the Golden Age of The New Yorker W.W. Norton & Co. (November 2015)

David Lehman Sinatra's Century: One Hundred Notes on the Man and His World HarperCollins (October 2015)

David Lehman Best American Poetry 2015: Guest Editor, Sherman Alexie Scribner (September 2015)

Tod Lindberg The Heroic Heart: Greatness Ancient and Modern Encounter Books (September 2015)

Michael Dirda Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books Pegasus (August 2015)

Moshe Idel and Shahar Arzy Kabbalah: A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences Yale University Press (June 2015)

Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash Imperial from the Beginning: The Constitution of the Original Executive Yale University Press (May 2015)

Harold Bloom The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime Spiegel & Grau (May 2015)

Peter Schweizer Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich HarperCollins (May 2015)

Akhil Reed Amar The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic Basic Books (April 2015)

David Brooks The Road to Character Random House (April 2015)

David Lehman The State of the Art: A Chronicle of American Poetry, 1988-2014 University of Pittsburgh Press (April 2015)

Jonathan D. Horn The Man Who Would Not Be Washington: Robert E. Lee's Civil War and His Decision That Changed American History Scribner (January 2015)

Peter J. Wallison Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World’s Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again Encounter Books (January 2015)

Martin Greenfield and Wynton Hall Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents' Tailor Regnery (November 2014)

In the News, February 2016

Posted 01.29.16:  “Gelernter is a cross-disciplinary intellectual who has written highly interesting works of history, memoir, and, now, psychology…. This spark for mental exploration may attract a sizable audience.”—Booklist reviewing The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness by David Gelernter, forthcoming next month from Liveright/Norton.
Posted 01.21.16:  “Engaging, playful, deeply personal, and elegantly concise.”—Geoffrey O'Brien in the Feb. 11th New York Review of Books on Sinatra's Century: One Hundred Notes on the Man and His World by David Lehman
Posted 01.09.16:  A starred review in Kirkus Reviews for Dreams of a Great Small Nation: The Mutinous Army that Threatened a Revolution, Destroyed an Empire, Founded a Republic, and Remade the Map of Europe by Kevin J. McNamara: “The first English-language account of a small army that actually took control of Siberia in 1918.... Originally only about 350 former prisoners of war, the army eventually grew to a well-disciplined, cohesive group of more than 200,000. The story is extraordinary, and McNamara follows the frustrations of the men who became foils for the Russians, the Germans, and the Allies.... McNamara, an impressive storyteller armed with a treasure of documents only recently available, ably narrates the remarkable feats of these men who fought every inch of the way, 'who found themselves described in some quarters as the first counterrevolutionaries of a new era.' A fantastic addition to the shelves of World War I histories.” (March 29th from PublicAffairs)
Posted 01.06.16:  Kirkus Reviews on The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness by David Gelernter: “Everyone agrees that computers do not employ reason; they compute. This harmony dissolves when the discussion turns to the future, where vastly more powerful machines will develop sentience and feelings—or not. In this dense but imaginative meditation on how humans think, Gelernter marshals philosophers, poets, and authors, but few scientists, in support of his mildly quirky view of human consciousness. According to the author, the mind is a ‘room with a view' that combines inner thoughts with events in the outside world. He downplays the popular view that thought relates to the brain as software relates to hardware, maintaining that the mind is never in a steady state. All thought processes—e.g., memory, emotion, reason, and self-reflection—vary along a spectrum that depends on one's physical state and the time of day. At the top, where the computer analogy works, focus is intense, reason rules, and memory is subordinate: a source of data. Focus, but not memory, dims as the mind moves down-spectrum to fatigue, drowsiness, and finally sleep. Along the way, memory takes over, but it's pliable human memory, not hard-wired silicon. Perception becomes unreliable; we dream. ‘Up-spectrum, the mind pursues meaning by using logic,' writes the author. ‘Moving down-spectrum, it tends to pursue meaning by inventing stories—as we do when we dream. A logical argument and a story are two ways of putting fragments in proper relationship and guessing where the whole sequence leads and how it gets there.' Eschewing research in favor of literature and Freud, Gelernter delivers a personal, reasonable, nonscientific analysis of the mind.”
Posted 12.23.15:  Publishers Weekly on The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness by David Gelernter: "Those in a state of panic induced by books and articles about the possibility of a 'singularity' in which artificial intelligence triumphs over the human race will find comfort in this quite reasonable and decidedly human study of the mind. Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale, argues that the current trend in philosophy toward 'computationalism' ignores basic, glaringly obvious truths about the difference between brain and mind. For example, he asserts that human intellect and selfhood are not merely the product of the conscious mind. He explores the 'spectrum' of thought experienced over the course of a day: the creative haze encountered upon first waking, the focused and rational thoughts of our most productive hours, the daydreaming we engage in while drowsy, the involuntary free association of near-sleep, and finally the opaque and mysterious realm of dreams and the unconscious. The author contends that the 'down-spectrum' realms of dreams and fantasies, which are controlled by emotion and memory, allow for the creative thinking that will always separate humans from machines.”

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The first, wittiest statement of the paradoxical efficacy of conflict, the invisible hand, and creative destruction in human affairs, was The Grumbling Hive: Or Knaves Turned Honest by Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733).
The poem appears after the bio on Doctor Mandeville. Scroll down.

Evelyn Waugh on publishing...(see full passage)
"Old Rampole deplored the propagation of books. 'It won’t do,' he always said whenever Mr. Bentley produced a new author, “no one ever reads first novels...”