Archive for The Book Bum - page 5

The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World by George Prochnik

Prochnik, George. The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World, Other Press, New York, 2014 (390pp.$27.95) Relentlessly middlebrow pop-intellectual Stefan Zweig, in the 1920s and 1930s, was the world’s most widely read and broadly translated writer of biographies, novellas and short-stories.   For…

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The Elizabethans by A.N. Wilson

Wilson, A.N. The Elizabethans, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2012 (448pp.$30) The queen died unhappy, ravaged by time and illness, her realm disquieted by civil and religious factions that were equally adumbrated by frequent outbreaks of plague. The magistrates and sheriffs were hanging thieves,…

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The Downfall of Money: Germany’s Hyperinflation and the Destruction of the Middle Class by Frederick Taylor

Taylor, Frederick. The Downfall of Money: Germany’s Hyperinflation and the Destruction of the Middle Class, Bloomsbury Press, New York, 2013 (416pp. $30) The story of Germany’s hyperinflation begins in the late summer of 1914 when her young men marched off to glorious war accompanied by…

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The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition, ed. Jack Zipes, illus. by Andrea Dezso

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition, translated and collected by Jack Zipes, illustrated by Andrea Dezso, Princeton University Press, Princeton/Oxford, 2015 (519pp.$35) Romanticism, as a European aesthetic, rose at the end of the 18th century in direct…

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Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor

Labor, Earle. Jack London: An American Life, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2013 (461pp. $30) At the height of his fame in the early 1900’s, Jack London was earning ten thousand dollars a month from a variety of sources including royalties on his novels…

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Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore; Rome: A Cul;tural Visual, Personal History by Robert Hughes

Montefiore, Simon Sebag. Jerusalem: The Biography, Alfred A. Knopf, New York (650pp.$35) Hughes, Robert. Rome: A Cultural, Visual, Personal History, Alfred A. Knopf, New York (498pp.$35) On the 8th of the Jewish month of Ab in A.D. 70, the armies of the Roman Emperor Vespasian,…

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Sons of Wichita by Daniel Schulman

Schulman, David. Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty. Grand Central Publishing, Boston and New York, 2014 (424pp.$30) Driving into Wichita on old Highway 54 during the early 1960s, the visitor would encounter a large billboard with lettering…

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Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems by Billy Collins

Billy Collins. Horoscopes for the Dead, Random House, New York, 2011 (106pp. $24) It is hard to disagree with the New York Times that Billy Collins is “America’s most popular poet.” Having risen almost from thin air, he placed several books with university presses in…

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1913: The Year Before the Storm by Florian Illies

Illies, Florian. 1913: The Year Before the Storm. Melville House, Brooklyn/London, (268pp. $25.95) Overcoming the curse of Romanticism in the effort to become modern can be dangerous to one’s health. Just ask Franz Kafka, whose psychosexual and intestinal battles are the stuff of legend; or,…

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More Sorrows of the Digital Age: Mindless by Simon Head

Head, Simon. Mindless: Why Smarter Machines are Making Dumber Humans, Basic Books (Perseus Books Group), New York, 2013 (230pp., $26.99)   Eighty years ago the English economist John Maynard Keynes authored a brief essay entitled “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren”, in which he took a…

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