In the News, April 2021
Posted 03.23.21: Winner of the 2021 Goldsmith Book Prize! An Aristocracy of Critics: Luce, Hutchins, Niebuhr, and the Committee That Redefined Freedom of the Press by Stephen Bates has won the Goldsmith Book Prize, which is awarded to a book "that best fulfills the objective of improving democratic governance through an examination of the intersection between the media, politics and public policy."
Posted 03.23.21: Finalist for a 2021 Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association! Marriage Equality: From Outlaws to In-Laws by William N. Eskridge, Jr. and Christopher R. Riano: "A comprehensive account of the long struggle for same-sex marriage.... A compelling narrative....The work is beautifully and accessibly written.... An essential work."—Library Journal
Posted 03.08.21: "Harold Bloom's final books reflect one of the most personal and distilled versions of the moral code that sustained his idea of poetic thinking as the highest path to universal truth.... It is not difficult to see why this belief, which Bloom has repeated in one way or another for decades, has found so much resonance outside the academy, where there is still a community of readers seeking truth and solace in reading."—Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado in the Los Angeles Review of Books on The Bright Book of Life: Novels to Read and Reread and Take Arms Against a Sea of Troubles: The Power of the Reader's Mind over a Universe of Death by Harold Bloom
Posted 03.06.21: A starred review from Publishers Weekly for The Words That Made Us: America's Constitutional Conversation, 1760–1840 by Akhil Reed Amar: “The U.S. collectively talked and wrote its way into being, according to this dazzling constitutional history…. Amar ties searching constitutional analysis into a gripping narrative of war, popular tumults, political intrigue, and even fashion, highlighted by vivid profiles of statesmen…. The result is a fresh, invigorating take on America's founding that puts epic deliberation at the heart of democracy.”
Posted 02.18.21: A starred review from Kirkus Reviews for The Words That Made Us: America's Constitutional Conversation, 1760–1840 by Akhil Reed Amar: “A page-turning doorstop history of how early American courts and politicians interpreted the Constitution. A Yale professor of law and political science, Amar has written numerous books on constitutional matters. In his latest excellent analysis, the author…delivers a fascinating, often jolting interpretation…. Brilliant insights into America's founding document.”
Posted 01.26.21: "Harold Bloom was the formidable Yale professor...whose massive and magisterial if quirky Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is the finest one-volume assessment of the plays at our disposal."—Robert Gottlieb, The New York Times Book Review
Posted 01.26.21: "Here's what The Bright Book of Life: Novels to Read and Reread isn't: It isn't a handy list of the 50 or 100 novels 'you must read before you die.' Nor is it a collection of painless expositions of 'the world's greatest works of fiction.' Nor is it an introduction to the world's greatest writers. It's a series of meditations on what Bloom believes to be the most important novels we have, and it takes for granted that its readers already know the books under consideration; in other words, that they have already absorbed 'the canon,' and are eager to reconsider it later in their lives. For those with the rage for reading and rereading, it is something of a feast; for others, it will be daunting.... Harold Bloom is not only a master educator, he has been a central figure in today's culture wars. As early as 1994, in his book The Western Canon — a book I wholeheartedly recommend — he is wading into battle to save the academy from what he challengingly labels the School of Resentment. His argument is dense, difficult, but in my view irrefutable. And although he is not optimistic, he has not abandoned hope."—Robert Gottlieb, The New York Times Book Review
Posted 01.15.21: "Harold Bloom needs no introduction as one of America's greatest literary critics. It is thus an understatement to name his posthumously published collection, The Bright Book of Life: Novels to Read and Reread, a true treasure of literature.… New readers will appreciate The Bright Book of Life as a touchstone for a superb reading list with Bloom's prose commentary to add some flashes of insight to their reading. Seasoned readers will enjoy filling in the gaps in their own reading or dusting off forgotten favorites with Bloom there to highlight a few passages and, along the way, add an unforgettable nugget or two about the work. The Bright Book of Life is a work worth dipping into again and again and following along with Bloom and his lifetime of reading the best of the best novels."—Shelby Smoak, New York Journal of Books
Posted 01.15.21: Michael Silverblatt, Bookworm, on Take Arms Against a Sea of Troubles: The Power of the Reader's Mind over a Universe of Death by Harold Bloom: "It is a ferocious final book and in fact this astonishing prose was dictated to an assistant while Bloom's end approached. Allow yourself to be reminded of the legend of Harold Bloom and his love of literature: the power of his interpretive mind and his insatiable engagement with the transformative power of poetry."
Posted 12.05.20: Named a "Best Book of the Year" by The Times (London) and The Economist: Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigail Shrier. “Irreversible Damage is punchy, analytical and written with the zest and elegance of a journalist at the top of her game.”—Christina Patterson, The Sunday Times (London)
Posted 12.05.20: Named a "Best Nonfiction Book of the Year" by The Christian Science Monitor: “Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by Nicholas A. Basbanes
Posted 11.17.20: The Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) announced the winner of its inaugural "Best in Business Book Award": The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care—and How to Fix It by Dr. Marty Makary. “The Price We Pay is fresh, enlightening, accessible, and impactful on the most critical issue of our time, healthcare,” said the head judge. “The book has made news, helped to change policy, and offers real solutions.”
Posted 11.13.20: “Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by Nicholas A. Basbanes provides an exhilarating account of this multifaceted man of letters who became a national institution.”—Paul Muldoon, “Books of the Year 2020,” The Times Literary Supplement
Posted 11.02.20: Following a starred Kirkus review for his An Aristocracy of Critics: Luce, Hutchins, Niebuhr, and the Committee That Redefined Freedom of the Press as “a fascinating, prodigiously researched intellectual history…clearly relevant to current debates,” Stephen Bates gets praise from The Wall Street Journal: "Bates has done an admirable job of trawling through many archives and the commission's minutes, emerging with sharp pen portraits of the panelists and their earnest but sometimes unintentionally comical deliberations."
Posted 09.01.20: Publishers Weekly on or Take Arms Against a Sea of Troubles: The Power of the Reader's Mind over a Universe of Death by Harold Bloom: "Late critic and Yale professor Bloom leaves behind a passionate reflection on a lifetime of reading. Conscious of his own limited time left, he reflects that 'if life is to be more than breathing, it needs the enhancement of knowledge or the kind of love that is a form of knowledge,' as he describes gaining from his favorite authors.... Perhaps Bloom's most personal work, this is a fitting last testament to one of America's leading 20th-century literary minds."
Posted 08.21.20: A starred Library Journal review of Marriage Equality: From Outlaws to In-Laws by William N. Eskridge, Jr. and Christopher R. Riano: "A comprehensive account of the long struggle for same-sex marriage. Though ostensibly a legal history, this work is much more than that as the authors interweave stories of people, some well-known, others not, into a compelling narrative.... The work is beautifully and accessibly written. Both general and academic readers will appreciate its comprehensiveness as well as its attention to the human side of the story. An essential work."
Posted 08.20.20: “A masterpiece…. I have no hesitation in calling it ‘magisterial.' It should spark a Longfellow revival, something long overdue…. This is a labor of love.”—Al Southwick in the Worcester Telegram on Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by Nicholas A. Basbanes
Posted 08.12.20: A starred Kirkus review for An Aristocracy of Critics: Luce, Hutchins, Niebuhr, and the Committee That Redefined Freedom of the Press by Stephen Bates: “A fascinating, prodigiously researched intellectual history…Bates offers a penetrating examination…. A well-constructed, timely study, clearly relevant to current debates.”
Posted 08.11.20: At #5 on The Wall Street Journal's Nonfiction E-Book Bestseller list: Of Monkey Bridges and Banh Mi Sandwiches by Oanh Ngo Usadi
Posted 08.04.20: “A sheer joy to read for its portrayal of the amazing life of the first ‘poet of the people.'”—Library Journal in a starred review of Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by Nicholas A. Basbanes