It is not uncommon even in these more evolved times for those commenting on and even engaging in what passes for the rough and tumble of today’s political arena to talk about “taking the gloves off.” But this all but forgotten figure in American history, Rep. John Morrissey, New York Democrat, actually was a bare-knuckle boxer of considerable renown — the American champion no less.
This unexpectedly interesting book is all about cars — after they die and go to automotive purgatory to await the crusher. The author, an assistant professor of History at Auburn, who confesses to a lifelong passion for both cars and junkyards, is a man who never met a junkyard he didn’t like.
Someone once said whether history remembers you as a rebel or a freedom fighter depends on whether you lose or win. Whether the same applies to a dictator is open to question. Edna O’Brien seems to be playing with these ideas in her new, complex novel, “The Little Red Chairs.”
In her study of London during the Blitz “The Love Charm of Bombs,” Lara Feigel, who teaches English at King’s College London, showed with some success what it actually felt like to live in that tumultuous time. She did so through the eyes of five writers.
Of all the combat veterans I have encountered in almost half a century of writing, not a single person has claimed the accolade “hero,” regardless of the number of ribbons he wears. I recall vividly the reaction of a much-decorated veteran of the Korean War when I suggested his actions earned him such a designation.
Still yearning for “Downton Abbey”? Adrian Tinniswood’s “The Long Weekend Life in the English Country House, 1918-1939” is probably the necessary antidote.
Most men of my age have a friend who is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of designer whiskey. Booze snobs, I call them. If you have such a friend and want to knock his socks off go out to Mount Vernon to George Washington’s recreated distillery and buy a bottle of his original rye whiskey output.