In the News, March 2024
Posted 02.12.24: Kirkus Reviews on The End of Everything: How Wars Descend into Annihilation by Victor Davis Hanson: “Civilizations collapse for many reasons, and these days we worry not so much about war but about climate change and natural disasters. However, as classicist and military historian Hanson warns, it's not out of the question that a modern enemy (Putin) might attempt to erase an opponent (Ukraine) as surely as Cortés brought down the Aztecs. ‘The gullibility, and indeed ignorance, of contemporary governments and leaders about the intent, hatred, ruthlessness, and capability of their enemies are not surprising,' writes the author, surveying a world in which genocide is no stranger.... He writes vividly about relevant cases.... A good choice for geopolitics and military history alike, ranging from specific battles to general principles of warfare.”
Posted 02.12.24: “David Lehman's exuberant collection of essays, poems, and annotated lists captures the manifold associations stirred by a lifetime's attention to crime fiction and movies, touching on everything from wisecracks to cigarettes to musical soundtracks to Kenneth Fearing as 'the patron saint of poetry noir'.”—Geoffrey O'Brien in The New York Review of Books on The Mysterious Romance of Murder
Posted 01.26.24: "A rather interesting geographical and geopolitical analyses of six men from the founding generation. For all that has been written of these men, or at least almost all of them, Barone's perspective is taken literally from the ground up. Michael Barone demonstrates masterfully the mental mapping that these men applied to the new nation through domestic and foreign policy, and how their view of the world, whether in politics or economics, still affects modern Americans.... What Barone achieves in his book is a convincing argument that the Founders knew the land: its forests, hills, mountains, streams, rivers, and coastline. It was this knowledge of America's rough terrain, its rich soil, and its climate that enabled the Founders to envision ways to defeat the nation's enemies, sustain its population, and become an economic power. It also informed them of the importance of westward expansion as well as the importance of protecting its coasts from European powers, along with the entire Western Hemisphere." — Dustin Bass, The Epoch Times, on Mental Maps of the Founders: How Geographic Imagination Guided America's Revolutionary Leadership
Posted 01.26.24: “Mental Maps of the Founders: How Geographic Imagination Guided America's Revolutionary Leadership offers valuable insight into the practical wisdom of the men who made America.... Barone is at his best when actually discussing the Founders' fascination with geography as both an intellectual pursuit and political quantity. The book's strongest chapters are those dedicated to the three Virginians, who, more than Barone's other subjects, actually gave a lot of thought to maps, land, and geography.... An important reminder of the oft-neglected practical dimension of America's creation... By showing that the Founders were worried about porous borders and scheming foreign powers—and indeed, that they shaped not just our national identity but our physical nation in response to these concerns—Michael Barone highlights the enduring relevance of the American Founding, and reminds us that it is impossible for us to understand our country as it is without considering the men who first mapped it out in their minds." — Tim Rice, Washington Free Beacon
Posted 01.17.24: “Michael Barone's Mental Maps of the Founders: How Geographic Imagination Guided America's Revolutionary Leadership focuses on this spatial sense among key members of the revolutionary generation. By ‘mental maps,' Mr. Barone intends more than a regional affinity. He means a ‘geographical orientation'—the perspective that place confers. He argues that, for the Founders, it shaped ‘what the new nation they hoped they were creating would look like and be like.' Mr. Barone, a distinguished journalist and political analyst, develops his theme through a series of six biographical portraits.... The Founders' geographical visions, as Mr. Barone shows, informed their sense of how America's distinctive regional cultures might fuse into a common whole.”—Adam Rowe, The Wall Street Journal
Posted 10.04.23: "David Friedman's The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, the anarcho-capitalist classic, turns 50 this year, and it's worth revisiting for both its spirit and substance. The book has a chaotic energy.... The most striking thing about The Machinery of Freedom is its cheerful, eclectic optimism. It weaves back and forth between history, politics, and speculative fiction in ways that are enlivening and energizing. Friedman was not the first to make market anarchist arguments, but in the decades that followed the book's publication, they grew in appeal as an alternative to the angry polarization gripping those who preferred to fight over state power."—Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason Magazine, November 2023 "Deserves serious attention...informed by solid and sophisticated economic theory."—James M. Buchanan, Journal of Economic Literature; winner Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences 1986
Posted 06.21.23: "Morgenson and Rosner marshal considerable evidence for their case.... Morgenson is a financial reporter for NBC News and a former business columnist for The Times; Rosner is a financial analyst. [They] set out to explain what private equity is and show the damage it can do. They describe how firms like Apollo Global Management, KKR and the Carlyle Group buy up companies using very little of their own money, load the companies with debt and then squeeze them for profits."—Jennifer Szalai in The New York Times on These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs—and Wrecks—America by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner
Posted 05.10.23: A Wall Street Journal bestseller! These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs—and Wrecks—America by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner
Posted 04.12.23: A starred review from Publishers Weekly for These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs—and Wrecks—America by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner: "Morgenson, senior financial reporter for NBC News, and Rosner, a financial policy consultant, follow their 2011 collaboration, Reckless Endangerment, with a blistering critique of how private equity 'extracts wealth from the many to enrich the few.'... Morgensen and Rosner excel at capturing the complex financial maneuverings in crisp, accessible prose, and horror stories drive home the callousness of the private equity business model. Fiery and incisive, this is an essential account of how Wall Street pilfers the pockets of ordinary Americans."
Posted 03.15.23: A starred review from Booklist for These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs—and Wrecks—America by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner: "Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Morgenson, along with research-consultancy managing director Rosner, uncover the 30-year history of private equity and its impact on American lives. Private-equity firms, the authors contend, buy companies and load them with debt while bleeding them of assets. The firms then sell the companies to new owners at a substantial profit for themselves while the companies go bankrupt.... Readers will be drawn into the duo's storytelling, and even those who aren't financially savvy will be able to grasp the topic. It's a must-read for all for help in understanding a different side of capitalism."
Posted 01.20.23: "A professional historian's product through and through, sharply focused on its period and supported by amazingly detailed endnotes, plus a huge bibliography. Mr. Kagan's account is probably the most comprehensive, and most impressive, recent analysis we have of how Americans regarded the outside world and its own place in it during those four critical decades."—Paul Kennedy, The Wall Street Journal, on The Ghost at the Feast: America and the Collapse of World Order, 1900-1941 by Robert Kagan
Posted 12.18.22: "Through an absorbing chronological, song-by-song analysis of the most memorable hits, Anatomy of 55 More Songs: The Oral History of Top Hits That Changed Rock, Pop and Soul provides a sweeping look at the evolution of pop music between 1964 and today. This book will change how you listen to music and evaluate the artists who create it."—bookreporter "....This is just a small sample of the wealth of stories contained in Anatomy of 55 More Songs: The Oral History of Top Hits That Changed Rock, Pop and Soul by Marc Myers.... The chapters are fairly short, making it an easy read.... Anatomy of 55 More Songs: The Oral History of Top Hits That Changed Rock, Pop and Soul is a fantastic addition to any music lovers library."—Joey Williams, Glide Magazine
Posted 12.10.22: "Matthew Continetti's The Right: The Hundred Year War for American Conservatism is a superb work of scholarship and a delight to read. Conservatives will relish the anecdotes, the explanations of half-remembered books; liberals will learn something about their adversaries." — "Best Books of 2022," The Wall Street Journal
Posted 10.28.22: Publishers Weekly on Anatomy of 55 More Songs: The Oral History of Top Hits That Changed Rock, Pop and Soul by Marc Myers: "Myers details how 55 famous songs were conceived, written, and recorded in this perceptive follow-up to 2016's Anatomy of a Song. Myers provides a brief introduction to each of his picks, and their composers, musicians, and producers share stories behind each song, as well. There are surprising details about musical arrangements...and insight from artists about their lyrics.... Myers has a knack for capturing the artistry of songwriting and easily shows why these tracks are 'iconic but not tired.' This melodic collection will strike a chord with music fans."
Posted 10.24.22: Geniuses at War: Bletchley Park, Colossus, and the Dawn of the Digital Age by David A. Price has won the 2022 IEEE William and Joyce Middleton Electrical Engineering History Award, awarded to the author of a book in the history of technology "that both exemplifies exceptional scholarship and reaches beyond academic communities toward a broad public audience." IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, with roots in electrical engineering, electronics, and computing. Geniuses at War also was chosen a “Best Nonfiction Book of the Year” by Kirkus Reviews.
Posted 10.20.22: "Wall Street Journal arts reporter Marc Myers continues his explorations of the kind of popular music that turns from melody to earworm.... As he did in his previous volume, Anatomy of a Song, Myers does a fine job of getting behind the hits.... Altogether, Myers turns in a who-knew kind of book.... The narrative contains plenty of joy, discontentment, and even newfound respect.... With snippets of business, creativity, techno-wizardry, and raw emotion, a pleasure for music fans."—Kirkus Reviews on Anatomy of 55 More Songs: The Oral History of Top Hits That Changed Rock, Pop and Soul by Marc Myers forthcoming from Grove Atlantic