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Dangerous tours in Botswana

The terror of a massacre on safari in Botswana is linked to the gruesome killing of a Boston taxidermist in “Die Again,” a fast-paced thriller.

How bad housing policies led to the financial crisis

Peter Wallison’s important, engaging and alarming “Hidden in Plain Sight” is the definitive work on the financial crisis and a must-read for policymakers, the commentariat and citizens wanting to pierce the populist anti-Wall-Street, anti-bank fog.

From the book jacket

How China pursues global domination

Reading “The Hundred-Year Marathon” was a bittersweet experience. Sweet because this one-time “panda hugger” (as Michael Pillsbury describes himself) has now joined ranks with those of us who have long seen China as bent upon global domination. Bitter because China’s secret strategy to replace America as the sole superpower is well on the way to success.

Founding fixer

Washington author David Stewart has rapidly built a local fan base with his award-winning biographies of such diverse historical characters as Andrew Johnson and Aaron Burr.

When personal disaster strikes

The tale Jill Ciment tells in “Act of God” is not funny. It’s about a fungus infestation that leaves several families homeless and impoverished, and at least one person dead. Nonetheless, this novel breezes along, fizzing with wit as it sails toward a comic ending that leaves the surviving characters rich with possibilities.

Portrait of a corrupt state

Poor Rod Blagojevich. He wanted so badly to be successfully corrupt, but was just too dumb to swing it.

The Wizard of Oz meets King Lear

When it comes to presidents, the brightest are not necessarily the best. There are at least three other qualities that matter as much or more: temperament, judgment and character. The presidential greatness of men like Washington, Lincoln, FDR and Ronald Reagan was due at least as much to these qualities as it was to raw intellect.

Related Articles

From the book jacket

The women, widows and bastards passed over

Although the barony held by the 7th Lord Sackville, author of this unusual family history, written under his plain first and last name, dates only from the 19th century, his clan have held grander titles and positions since Tudor times and beyond.

How the animals follow their dreams

Elsie Bovary is a good name for a cow: Elsie, which immediately brings to mind the Borden Company cow, and Bovary, Flaubert's restless heroine whose name is derived from the late Latin "bovinus." Thus it is entirely fitting for that star of stage, screen and television, David Duchovny, to name his heroine "Elsie Bovary" for Elsie is one adventurous cow.

How the Spanish Civil War shaped history

Richard Rhodes has a way of taking on big topics and famous incidents and locales from Hiroshima to Hollywood and writing about them in prose that is both accessible and memorable.

Spies, operatives and cyberspace

Robin Hood used bows and arrows to right what he saw as wrongs. Peregrine Montresor, the protagonist in "Lazarus Man," uses cyberspace.

Thinking of the postwar world while still in combat

That great Victorian sage Thomas Carlyle, a master coiner of apt phrases, famously dubbed economics the dismal science, and there has been no shortage of people agreeing with him ever since. Fortunately for readers of this book about the conference held to determine postwar financial structure and the institutions necessary to regulate it, there is nothing dismal or dull or dreary about its author's account of what went on in those three summer weeks in 1944 in the foothills of New Hampshire's White Mountains. With no false modesty, he calls it "a gripping tale," and he is right on target.

Where ancient religions have disappeared

With the continuing destabilization of the Middle East and the rise of the Islamic State group, non-Muslim populations have undergone severe persecution. So much so, that emigration has caused ancient religions, some germane to biblical studies and some older than Christianity and Islam to disappear from the landscape.

A battle cry for smaller government

One thing is abundantly clear in American politics today: Voters dislike Washington. And with good reason, as so many of the challenges facing our country today come out of the inability of most politicians in our nation's capital to confront those major problems. So what should we do?

Imagining F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Hollywood life

The Gilded Age. "The Great Gatsby" exemplified the privileged life style of the 1920s Jazz Age. F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were the toast of the literary world as well as of the demi-monde. "Nothing was impossible — everything was just beginning" wrote Fitzgerald, as quoted by Stewart O'Nan in his engrossing new novel, "West of Sunset," about the last years of Fitzgerald's life, years that proved that indeed, "[t]here are no second acts in American lives."