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'Early Rubens' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Early Rubens’

Peter Paul Rubens was one of art’s great masters in the Flemish Baroque tradition. He was thoughtful, intelligent and enormously talented. He devoured his early studies in Antwerp, Belgium, in classical antiquity, and used this vast knowledge to create exquisite paintings of historical scenes.

 'The New Class War' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: ‘The New Class War’

In what well may be an understatement, Professor Sean Wilentz characterizes Michael Lind as “One of those wonderfully unpredictable writers who does not allow his allegiances to overrule his ideas.”

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Was Hemingway a Soviet spy?

Ernest Hemingway's critics like to zero in on his time as a WWII combat correspondent and brand him as a coward, a liar and a fake journalist. But the worst accusation against him, in my view, is that Hemingway was a Soviet spy.

'Write Like a Beast' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Write Like a Beast'

There's a lot more to the writing of stories than readers ever see. There's the research, of course, and character development, and outlining. Most people could probably understand that much if they sat down and thought about it. But there's so much more below the surface.

 'Trump and His Generals' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Trump and His Generals'

"Trump and His Generals" purports to show how The Donald is a dangerous, addle-brained commander in chief, and a threat to civilization as we know it inside the Beltway. But great chunks of it, probably unintentionally, reveal what is wrong not with Mr. Trump, but with the entrenched Washington establishment that has tried to thwart his presidency at every turn.

 'Information Wars' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Information Wars'

The use of disinformation to deceive one's adversary to achieve one's objectives is as old as humanity. When in the creation myth Satan told Eve nothing bad would happen if she bit the apple, that was an instance of disinformation.

 'The Compatriots' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Compatriots'

Demystifying Russia has been a geopolitical parlor game for more than a century. Veteran Russian journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan have tried to make sense of one strand in their country's complex history, the role of Russians who were either sensible or cunning enough to leave at crucial moments, mainly for a West from which Russian mentalities have often been estranged.

Bringing the Iron Lady to life

Nearly every family has had an iron lady, a strong, determined woman -- usually a mother, grandmother or aunt -- who comes to the fore in hard times and saves the family farm, the family business or even the family itself.

'From Russia With Blood' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'From Russia With Blood'

Heidi Blake's "From Russia With Blood" (a clever take on Ian Fleming's "From Russia With Love" title), lifts the veil off a series of murders in the United Kingdom and places blame squarely on Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

'One Man's Terrorist: A Political History of the IRA' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'One Man's Terrorist: A Political History of the IRA'

This book's account of how Sinn Fein's leaders played an instrumental role in making this possible is an indispensable guide to understanding how this template can -- and cannot -- be applied to resolving other terrorist conflicts, as well.

This image released by Netflix shows, from left, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Ray Romano in a scene from "The Irishman." On Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, Pacino was nominated for a Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a motion picture for his role in the film.(Netflix via AP)

Comparing 'The Irishman' and 'I Heard You Paint Houses'

I watched "The Irishman" on the night it premiered on Netflix and although the film was slow, long and a bit too talky, I enjoyed it. But I viewed the film as fiction. I read "I Heard You Paint Houses," the book "The Irishman" was based on, some years ago.