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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left’

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.”

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Boys in the Trees: A memoir’

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.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Widow’

“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.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Queen of Spies: Daphne Park, Britain’s Cold War Spy Master’

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.

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BOOK REVIEW: 'Unspeakable Things'

By definition you cannot speak about unspeakable things, so writing about them in a novel called "Unspeakable Things" presents significant problems. Author Kathleen Spivack solves these by letting some things get lost in the haze of time, while obscuring others behind the curtains and closed doors that are so common in this novel. Some scenes she merely sketches, but others appear in brilliant color: vivid, entertaining, and often quite frightening.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Triumph of Faith: Why the World is More Religious than Ever'

In "The Triumph of Faith: Why the World is More Religious than Ever," Rodney Stark challenges the popular notion that the world is becoming increasingly secular. Marshalling ample facts and figures, Mr. Stark, who serves as distinguished professor of the social sciences at Baylor University, dismantles what "everyone knows" in the "confines of the faculty lounge."

BOOK REVIEW: 'Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy'

RED TEAM: HOW TO SUCCEED BY THINKING LIKE THE As author Micah Zenko points out, the concept of red teaming started out with an effort by the Roman Catholic Church in the 13th century to thoroughly investigate candidates for sainthood and debunk false claims; the clergymen who held this title were informally called "Devil's Advocates."

BOOK REVIEW: 'Fault Lines'

It does not surprise me that the British author David Pryce-Jones titled his amazing memoir as he did. To him, his long life (he will turn 80 in February), has involved a series of attempts to bridge the contradictions in his heritage and in the eclectic consistently admirable distinctive career he has pursued as novelist, biographer and journalist.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Relic Master'

It isn't easy being the only son of a celebrated author or actor, especially if you go into the same line of work. An old friend, the late Douglas Fairbanks Jr., with countless film and stage triumphs to his credit, went to his grave still referred to as the son of the "great" Douglas Fairbanks Sr., even though the son's acting career lasted far longer and included highly intelligent acting, scripting and directing far beyond his father's capabilities.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter'

Princess Louise was the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and turned out to be a woman who marched to the beat of her own drummer in an era when such independence was far in the future, especially in a royal family.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Coventry: November 14, 1940'

The English Midlands city of Coventry has a rich architectural and governmental history and for centuries its name was indelibly linked with Lady Godiva, who in the 11th century reputedly rode naked through its streets in support of a tax rebellion. After the first British automobile was produced there in 1897, it soon became the manufacturing center not just for it but for bicycle, motorcycle, aircraft, as well as machine tools.

BOOK REVIEW: 'No More Champagne: Churchill and his Money'

As the scion of a prominent British family, Winston Churchill nonetheless entered life with two handicaps. Spendthrift elders, notably his father, had squandered what was left of the fortune accumulated by his forebear, the Duke of Marlborough, the 18th-century military hero. And he had not the slightest notion of how to balance his income and spending.