In the News, June 2019
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.
Posted 12.16.18: Chosen a "Best Book of 2018" by the New York Post, Peter Schweizer's Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends: “An enraging look at how elected officials and those they appoint betray the public trust, this book focuses on ‘corruption by proxy,' where politicians skirt ethics laws by allowing money they can't legally accept to flow through their friends and families. Focusing on corruption by both major parties, this book shows the need for further reform to keep those committed to serving our country from serving themselves instead.”
Posted 12.14.18: "Victor Davis Hanson's The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won is essential reading, as is everything he writes, but few works of history better capture the enormous scope of its subject. Combining an expert account of strategy and tactics on all sides with clear and adept analysis of the role of politics and economics and technological innovation, of manufacturing, supply, and logistics, it captures the overwhelming scale of this greatest of human conflicts.... This is history at its most sweeping."—Wilfred McClay, The Claremont Review
Posted 11.27.18: Publisher's Weekly on Harold Bloom's forthcoming Macbeth: A Dagger of the Mind: "Acclaimed critic Bloom once again plumbs the depths of a Shakespeare play to reveal new insights, this time offering a richly detailed character sketch of Macbeth. In a close, scene-by-scene reading, Bloom presents Macbeth as an ambitious visionary driven by a ‘prophetic imagination,' while leaving death and destruction in his wake.... As he has so often done, Bloom will shift the reader's perceptions of a literary classic." Kirkus Reviews writes: "Older readers may wish this clear, concise, empathetic volume were available when they were in school."
Posted 11.08.18: Publishers Weekly has named Of Monkey Bridges and Banh Mi Sandwiches by Oanh Ngo Usadi as the finalist in Memoir/Autobiography for the 2018 BookLife Prize. Her book is one of six finalists and the only nonfiction work. Judge Julie Powell wrote: “In dark times like these, the ability to find what binds us is vital. In Of Monkey Bridges and Banh Mi Sandwiches, Oanh Ngo Usadi brings empathy and vivid storytelling to her young life as a Vietnamese girl fleeing the country with her family after the Vietnam War. At once an ode to the beauty of her home country and a harrowing depiction of the horrors of leaving it for an uncertain new life, Of Monkey Bridges and Banh Mi Sandwiches is the sort of book we need right now, to remind us that for all our differences, we share love, fear, and the hope of redemption. As Usadi and her family slowly adjust to their new lives in Texas, it becomes clear that theirs is a quintessentially American story.... Plot: This memoir is gripping and well crafted. Prose: Beautifully written, this powerful memoir uses concise, deliberate language. Originality: This story of perseverance, resourcefulness, and determination is original and important."
Posted 10.04.18: "He sets out his case with characteristic brilliance and conviction." — The Economist on The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World by Robert Kagan
Posted 09.21.18: A New York Times Best Seller! Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation by Kenneth W. Starr
Posted 09.11.18: “In an explosive new memoir, Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation, former independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr revealed that he considered bringing perjury charges against Hillary Clinton after a 1995 deposition with investigators…. ‘In the space of three hours, she claimed, by our count, over a hundred times that she “did not recall” or “did not remember.” This suggested outright mendacity. To be sure, human memory is notoriously fallible, but her strained performance struck us as preposterous.' Starr said that he ultimately decided not to bring charges against the then-first lady because it would be difficult to prove that she lied when she said ‘I don't recall' and ‘I don't remember.'”—The Daily Wire