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Writing a book that's boring yet also hair-raising is a feat. Susie J. Pak's "Gentlemen Bankers: The World of J.P. Morgan," full of charts, graphs and the dry prose of a doctoral thesis, studies the ways of the financial and industrial moguls who built their wealth at the dawn of modern American capitalism.
When C.P. Snow arrived to lecture at Harvard in 1960, he was riding a wave of fame that followed his talk on "The Two Cultures" at Cambridge University the year before when he pointed out that the intellectual world was becoming increasingly divided between science and the humanities.
I was 17. We were in the last weeks of Marine boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. Our platoon was drilling, marching ramrod straight, shoulders back, heels crashing into the parade-ground crushed rock, our drill instructor calling the cadence in that hard nasal singsong. Suddenly he gave us a halt, a right face and a parade rest.
Over the past few decades, Edward Luttwak has gained a reputation as the bad boy of strategic theory and historical scholarship. This time, he has outdone himself. He has debunked Sun Tsu, the Clausewitz of the East and much beloved by teachers of military theory for decades. It is about time -- Sun Tsu has been an overrated icon far too long.
What goes around comes around. In 1417, 351 years after the Norman conquest of England, an English army led by the warrior King Henry V invaded Normandy. Henry's precursor to D-Day would lay the groundwork for a forgotten but fascinating period when much of France, including Paris, would be ruled by England.
The handsomely produced "A Home of the Humanities," timed to coincide with the reopening of Dumbarton Oaks after a major architectural renovation, reminds us that the place is a continuing, living memorial to its "onlie begetters."
Move over "reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic." The three R's are old hat. These days education needs to be about the three D's: decentralization, diversity and dynamism. So argues Frederick M. Hess in his new book about school reform, "The Same Thing Over and Over."
Growing up in segregated Memphis, Tenn., during the Jim Crow era, Augustus White III knew about those certain places off-limits to him as a black man _ restrooms, diners and schools.
The word incest is a very loaded one. But don't let the lurid connotations of the word in this title scare you away from this thoughtful, revealing study about the kind of networking that existed long before the Internet, flourishing in the 19th century.