In the News, September 2019
Posted 09.10.19: “Harold Bloom, is not only the greatest literary critic of our lifetimes, but quite possibly the greatest of all time. Possessed by Memory: The Inward Light of Criticism appears to be a collection and a coda of memories for Bloom, who turned 89 in July. Bloom is now wheelchair-bound and appears to have dictated much of the book to an assistant, which begs the impressive question of how much of this book simply flowed from the great man's mind. The amount of text and poetry he has committed to memory is astounding and humbling…. This is a mind that has seemingly defied the aging process and the writing is further proof of the mental gymnastics being performed in his mind.... Bloom's genius and memory will astound readers.”—Drew Gallagher, The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia)
Posted 09.03.19: “Harvey Klehr's new book, The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole: The Twisted Life of David Karr is a rarity: a biography of a man so interesting that you wonder why you never heard of him before…an engaging book about a fascinating man. Indirectly, it is also a wonderful introduction to the general topic of American communism.”—Mark Hemingway, Law and Liberty
Posted 08.15.19: On the New York Times Best Seller list for 17 weeks! The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks: "An ambitious volume, part sermon, part self-help guide, and part sociological treatise, replete with quotes and stories from Tolstoy, Moses, Orwell, and others.... Yet the book is deeply moving, frequently eloquent, and extraordinarily incisive. It is hopeful in the best sense."—The Philadelphia Inquirer
Posted 08.08.19: “Literature is the closest thing Harold Bloom has to a religion…. Which explains why he retains an essentially sacred view of writing and is concerned to defend the 'western canon' (from Homer through to James Joyce) against unbelievers and skeptics…. Bloom derives consolation from the books that surround him on shelves and in piles on the table and on the floor. In Possessed by Memory: The Inward Light of Criticism, he writes that 'Frequently at dawn, when I am very chilly and sit on the side of my bed, knowing it is not safe for me to go downstairs by myself in order to have some morning tea, I find deep peace in (Wallace) Stevens at his strongest.'”—please see Harold Bloom's interview with Andy Martin of The Independent at the book page link.
Posted 07.29.19: “In the 1930s and '40s, there were any number of American communists so enamored of Joseph Stalin and the shining tomorrows he promised that they would do anything for the Soviet Union, disdaining payment of any kind. David Karr was not one of them. Karr, writes Harvey Klehr in his riveting biography of the man, was something else entirely: He was the young American communist on the make, his eye 'ever alert for the main chance,' his hand ever open to Soviet largess…. Mr. Klehr, an emeritus professor at Emory University and a leading historian of American communism, has spent his professional life tracing, in his 13 books, the links between U.S. and Soviet espionage. He writes a controlled prose supported by meticulous documentation. The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole: The Twisted Life of David Karr, the product of 30 years of research, is a work of tenacity and obsession; it traces the contours of Karr's life with great detail and precision.... He leaves no available document unturned and ferrets out all that we can know about David Karr. Given how slippery Karr could be, that's an impressive achievement.”—David Evanier, The Wall Street Journal
Posted 07.24.19: A starred review in Booklist for The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care—and How to Fix It by Marty Makary, M.D.: “A Johns Hopkins surgeon and professor of health policy authoritatively and conversationally explains the money games of medicine. How did costs get so high? Blame overtesting, overdiagnosing, and overtreating…. Makary, who visited 22 cities over two years, uses anecdotes liberally and effectively…. Consider this book a powerful call to action for more information about health costs and for restoring the ‘noble mission' of treating everyone with fairness and dignity.”
Posted 07.06.19: A starred review from Publishers Weekly for David Lehman's One Hundred Autobiographies: A Memoir: "Poet and critic Lehman, who was treated for bladder cancer in 2014, brilliantly captures the despair, uncertainty, and anger he felt in these 100 short reflections on life, death, and writing.... Throughout, he reflects on literature and pop culture figures to tell his story.... Lehman's exquisite essays illustrate the ways that beauty can flow out of pain."
Posted 06.20.19: "Though Possessed by Memory: The Inward Light of Criticism cannot strictly be called a memoir, the elements of the private life of the writer that pepper the pages are present enough to make it a deeply personal work, perhaps the most illuminating of the critic's life thus far. It is Bloom's fascination with memory—what haunts and heals us, what drives and draws us—that shapes the book, be it a memory influenced by a particular work or a work that gives rise to the memory, and it is that fascination that is universal regardless of whether a reader is familiar with the core text about which he is writing or not. Bloom reminds us of the ways literature can transform and inform our lives, and Possessed by Memory is a small glimpse into the way it has shaped his. It is brilliant, vast, and well worth the time it takes to sort through his varied critical takes."—Danielle McManus, San Francisco Book Review
Posted 04.24.19: The #1 New York Times Best Seller! The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks. "Deeply moving, frequently eloquent and extraordinarily incisive."—The Washington Post
Posted 04.14.19: "A must-read for all who enjoy literature."—Library Journal on Possessed by Memory: The Inward Light of Criticism by Harold Bloom.
Posted 04.11.19: “David Lehman, already at the forefront of our literary culture, writes a music retrospective inspired by his friend, the late great poet A. R. Ammons…. This book will break your heart for all that's passed, and especially how tenderly Lehman revives it.." — Grace Cavalieri, Maryland's Poet Laureate, Washington Independent Review of Books, on Playlist: A Poem, just published by University of Pittsburgh Press.
Posted 03.17.19: The Case for Trump by Victor Davis Hanson: #2 on The New York Times bestseller list, Hardcover Nonfiction; #3 on the The Wall Street Journal bestseller list, Nonfiction; #3 on Publishers Weekly's bestseller list, Hardcover Frontlist Nonfiction.
Posted 03.02.19: "Admirers of prolific polymath Bloom will treasure this assemblage of 76 pieces, ranging in length from brief reflections to full-length essays, and in genre from memoir to literary analysis…. Readers may find Bloom's personal remarks most affecting…. A rich lifetime of readership and scholarship can be found within the covers of this equally rich book." — Publishers Weekly on Possessed by Memory: The Inward Light of Criticism by Harold Bloom
Posted 02.28.19: “Reflections on the great American twentieth-century poet A. R. Ammons.... The two volumes that make up The Complete Poems of A. R. Ammons: Volume 1, 1955-1977 and Volume 2, 1978-2005, which include all collected and previously uncollected poems (though not any of the unpublished drafts and fragments), run to more than 2,000 pages. Handsomely produced by Norton and meticulously edited by Robert M. West.”—Marjorie Perloff, The Times Literary Supplement “The volumes have been superbly edited by Robert West.”—Matthew Bevis, London Review of Books
Posted 02.14.19: The #1 Amazon Bestseller: The Case for Trump by Victor Davis Hanson.
Posted 01.30.19: A starred Kirkus Review for Possessed by Memory: The Inward Light of Criticism by Harold Bloom: “Literature serves as consolation for an eminent and prolific critic. Legendary critic and professor Bloom has created a literary biography from brief essays on the poems, plays, and prose—many committed to memory—that he has reread, with growing insight, throughout his life…. An eloquent and erudite rereading of the author's beloved works.”
Posted 01.29.19: Publishers Weekly on The Case for Trump by Victor Davis Hanson: “Hanson is shrewd and insightful on Trump's appeal…and on the disdain with which liberal (and Never-Trump Republican) politicians, media, and celebrities portray Trump's supporters as bigots and losers…. This is one of the smartest conservative defenses of Trump yet published.” Forthcoming from Basic Books March 5th.
Posted 01.19.19: Esquire Magazine selects “The Most Anticipated Books of 2019” and among them Harold Bloom's Possessed by Memory: The Inward Light of Criticism: “America's foremost scholar of literature delivers his most personal treatise yet in this compendium of musings about eighty-plus seminal texts, from Shakespeare to Keats to Tolstoy. This isn't the garden variety work of criticism you might expect—at the end of his life, 88-year-old Bloom is plumbing his personal relationship with the greats for a thoughtful memoir of an extraordinary life in letters.”—Adrienne Westenfeld writing about Possessed by Memory.
Posted 01.09.19: “Eisenberg's book, like his previous scholarship, demonstrates his great intellectual curiosity…. He masterfully weaves all these threads into the rich fabric of his scholarship to produce powerful legal arguments…. It is impossible within the boundaries of this review to do justice to the many original and powerful analyses that appear in Eisenberg's Foundational Principles of Contract Law.”—The University of Chicago Law Review
Posted 01.02.19: “Verbal felicities, haunting or explosive imagery, the architectonic dazzlements of rhyme and meter—all these are dwarfed by American poetry's reverence for genuineness, for authenticity.... Yet in their introductory essays to the Best American Poetry 2018, the 30th installment of this always excellent annual anthology, series editor David Lehman and this year's guest editor, Dana Gioia, present dissimilar views on precisely what authenticity entails.”—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post, on Best American Poetry 2018, published by Scribner in September 2018.