In 1985, Roger Scruton published a book titled “Thinkers of the New Left,” a collection of articles coming out at “the height of Margaret Thatcher’s reign of terror,” and “greeted with derision and outrage” by the nearly monolithic leftist British intellectual establishment, with “reviewers falling over each other for the chance to spit on the corpse.”
In a decision that history declares was perceptively wise, President Woodrow Wilson kept the United States out of World War I until a string of outrageously dumb decisions by Germany — notably unrestricted submarine warfare — left him little choice but to enter the hostilities.
It would be easy to dismiss singer-songwriter Carly Simon as just another narcissist diva. Indeed, at times reading this spirited memoir where her narcissism is on display over and over and over again, it is hard not to do so. But this would be a mistake, for there is a great deal more to Ms. Simon; and her memoir showcases all that as well.
This is an informative and entertaining book about a talented and complicated man, and if it is not quite a model biography, it is certainly a model authorized biography.
“The Widow” arrives from England recommended as “twisty psychological suspense” and “an electrifying debut thriller.” It’s not either of these. It’s more like a jigsaw puzzle. From the get-go you know how the final picture looks: in this case, you soon realize that Glen Taylor is the villain who abducted two-year old Bella Elliott.
At the age of 11, Daphne Park was living in a tin-roofed shack with no lights or running water in the British protectorate of Tanganyika when a letter arrived from London that changed her life forever. It was from her aunts, who were offering to provide her with a home and an education and in the end, it would lead to her becoming one of the first women spies.
Lev Grossman, in his Jan. 31, 2008 Time magazine essay, “The Lincoln Compulsion,” made this intriguing observation: “There have been more books about Abraham Lincoln than any other American.”