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April 2017

Posted 04.26.17:  A starred Kirkus Review for Howard Markel's forthcoming The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek: “A dual biography of the highly successful Kellogg brothers, who ‘fought, litigated, and plotted against one another with a passion more akin to grand opera than the kinship of brothers.' One brother invented Corn Flakes, and the other was the most famous doctor of his time. They hated each other. Readers who suspect their lives might provide entertainment will not be disappointed by this delightful biography…. A superb warts-and-all account of two men whose lives help illuminate the rise of health promotion and the modern food industry.”
Posted 04.25.17:  “Oppose Any Foe: The Rise of America's Special Operations Forces will serve as an invaluable and highly readable overview of SOF's history not just for those newly joining its ranks but also for anyone who seeks to know more about these glamorous and little-understood forces…. Excellent.”—National Review on Mark Moyar's just published popular history of U.S. commando warfare.
Posted 04.25.17:  An interesting thinking through Making It: 50th Anniversary Edition by Louis Menand in the May 1st New Yorker: “Making It is a book about what Norman Podhoretz, borrowing the term from Murray Kempton, calls the Family—the writers and editors, mostly but not exclusively Jewish, who dominated the New York intellectual scene in the decades after the war. It is as their proud product that Podhoretz presents himself, and he obviously hoped to retain the approval of these people, as he had done so often in the past, by daring to write something they were afraid to write. He believed that they would admire his courage, recognize the justice of his account, forgive any indiscretions he may have committed, and, freed at last from a stifling hypocrisy, embrace him and the book....” (Please read on at our book page link.)
Posted 04.21.17:  Jeanette Winterson in this Sunday's New York Times Book Review on Harold Bloom's Falstaff: Give Me Life: "This book is an explanation and a reiteration of why Falstaff matters to Bloom, and why Falstaff is one of literature's vital forces. These two strands of argument cannot be separated. Bloom is not a thinker who tries to take himself out of the equation. As a teacher and a writer he has always wanted to make us feel something, as well as to understand something. Profoundly learned himself, his learning is a call to life — that we are, or can be, altered and enriched by what we know…. Bloom is always a pleasure to read — the language simple and direct, yet easily conveying complexity of thought…. Bloom's book is a timely reminder of the power and possibility of words."
Posted 04.13.17:  David Lehman's Poems in the Manner Of reviewed in Publishers Weekly: "Lehman brings his expert eye and deep knowledge of the writers he mimics…. As Lehman writes in his introduction, the work embraces ‘homage, parody, imitation, and appropriation, or combinations of these four things.'… Lehman succeeds in the task he sets for himself. These renderings are a record of poetic engagement, a sort of autobiography of what has moved the author as well as a moving summary of the author's own development…. Therein lies the charm of this book: Lehman's blend of whimsy and gravitas, his ability to find pleasure in almost anything while still plumbing its depths."
Posted 04.04.17:  Library Journal on Falstaff: Give Me Life by Harold Bloom: “Shakespearean scholar Bloom fits many treasures into a scant number of pages in what is first and foremost a moving personal appreciation of what Bloom considers Shakespeare's most complete and effective character, Sir John Falstaff. The errant knight gets his due in Bloom's moving description of how Shakespeare's invention touched his life from adolescence on. In addition, the reader is treated to a close reading of Falstaff in the histories…. Bloom demonstrates how the plays work not just on the page but in the theater. VERDICT: An enchanting and appreciative celebration of Shakespeare's greatest comic creation.”