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Archive for the ‘NPJ Book Review’ Category

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn (1980, updated edition, 2015) My perspective: The elitism of wealth and power is like a cancer on a democracy. It fosters a meanness that eats away at the soul of humanity. The author focuses on the history of the under-privileged, women, children, slaves, native Americans, but […]

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Reporter: A Memoir by Seymour  M. Hersh (2018) This is a fascinating and an exceptional memoir of a reporter’s reporter. Accuracy was essential in Hersh’s life that he learned early growing up on the south side of Chicago.  Striving for a sense of personal ethics affected his writing and observations. It was the story that […]

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Strange Histories by Darren Oldridge 2005 As I delve into the assorted books remaining in my library I came across this work of unusual human practices, (other than the current news). The author offers an intriguing study of witches, angels, werewolves, heretics, persecution and local justice among people who thought they were reasonable though succumbing […]

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Heretics, The Other Side of Early Christianity by Gerd Ludemann. 1996 (English translation) As I began selling off my remaining theology and historical works including studies on ancient cultures and religions I came across this one buried under a couple dozen other books. Gerd Ludemann was a former professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School and the […]

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White House Interpreter: The Art of Interpretation by Henry Obst (2010) The author was an interpreter for seven presidents. In this very accessible read he covers five of them. The importance of this work is gaining ground considering recent foreign policy events, conferences, summits and public and private meetings between leaders and other officials of […]

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Androgyny, the opposites within by June Singer (2000) We live in the “Age of Androgyny,” not the Age of Aquarius, the author observes. To appreciate Dr. Singer’s study, it probably is a good idea to become familiar with the concepts of psychiatrist Carl Jung’s works and the construct of archetypes. Singer’s work is scholarly and verbose […]

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NPJ Book Review: Faust’s Metropolis, A History of Berlin by Alexandra Riche (1998)  Voltaire once observed: “We owe respect to the living and to the dead only truth.” I’ve used Richie’s immense work as reference tool over the years to compare and contrast to other studies when digging deeper on a specific subject in German […]

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Scribes, Scripts and Books, The Book Arts from Antiquity to the Renaissance by Leila Arvin (1991) This work effects curiosity. I took a course decades ago from Professor Leila Arvin. Her research was always intelligent, thoughtful, in-depth and complex with invaluable insights. In the preface of the work she sums up two idiosyncrasies she possesses: “chutzpah and […]

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Evil in Modern Thought – an alternative history of philosophy by Susan Neiman (2004) My read – this is an intellectually profound inquiry. Sitting on my bookshelf and consulted from time to time, more so as of late. How much time do we have? What is evil? Where can meaning be found? In a post–truth […]

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Ideas with consequences: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution (Studies in Postwar American Political Development) by Amanda Hollis-Brusky (2015) Impartiality? That word comes into mind and the question surrounding it, upon perusing this scholarly work. The atmosphere whether in a judge’s chambers or in the halls of Congress or the offices of the US […]

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Detroit, An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff (2013) I really didn’t want to read this book when it was first published in 2013. I’ve been putting it off. I was born in the inner city of Detroit. After a brief stint at St. Mary’s Hospital established by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de […]

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From Fascism to Populism in History by Federico Finchelstein  (2017) Finchelstein, Professor of History at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City offers brilliant and provocative ideas and insights into the nature of fascism and populism and the historical underpinnings and connections. He notes in the introduction, “Fascism […]

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The Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate by Sue Scheff, Melissa Schorr (2017) With a forward by Monica Lewinski. My take: This work serves as a thought-provoking idea resource to those who wish to counter online hate. Anonymous hate filled trolls have ruined the lives and careers of people. Hate is a growing […]

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The Devil in the Holy Water or the Art of Slander from Louis XIV to Napoleon by Robert Darnton (2010) My perspective: This is an enormous book of scholarship by Professor Robert Danton, Harvard University Librarian. It’s both lengthy and substantial. The book had been sitting on my shelf for over five years in which […]

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Power, Politics, and the Making of the Bible, An Introduction, by Robert B. Coote & Mary P. Coote (1990) Some thoughts: This book written almost three decades ago was considered a paradigm shift towards a sociopolitical analysis of the Old and New Testaments and away from traditional historical analysis. The implications of Robert and Mary Coote’s […]

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