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The most fascinating creatures ever to walk Earth

As a boy Steve Brusatte was taught “that dinosaurs were big, scaly, stupid brutes so ill-equipped for their environment that they just lumbered around, biding their time, waiting to go extinct. Evolutionary failures. Dead ends in the history of life.” He didn’t believe a word of it.

When lust and murder cloud judgment

Take a light-hearted female character, some vivid prose and a startling situation — waking up in a hotel room next to a man with a slashed throat — and that’s the chaos happening in the first few pages of Chris Bohjalian’s “The Flight Attendant.”

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Navigating the 'hot peace' with Russia

President Vladimir Putin perhaps had good reason to view Michael McFaul with a tad of suspicion when he arrived in Moscow as American ambassador in 2008.

An overweight history of America's understudied empire

If, as France's fiery World War I Prime Minister Georges "The Tiger" Clemenceau famously observed, "War is too important to be left to the generals," perhaps history is too important to be left to the historians.

How a Navy SEAL thwarted Soviet-backed rebels in the Congo

The Cold War, that period following World War II in 1947 until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, saw the attempted expansion of communism by the Soviet Union and other communist countries, and the attempted containment of communism by the U.S. and other Western democracies.

Recalling the momentous Reagan-Gorbachev summit

"Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot," said Margaret Thatcher of one of the most singular accomplishments in contemporary history, analyzed in this highly readable, perceptive and deeply researched study by Bret Baier, chief political news anchor for Fox News.

Lessons from the head of the class

In their last book, "Presidencies Derailed: Why University Leaders Fail and How To Prevent It," Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and Gerald B. Kauvar, along with E. Grady Bogue, wrote a critical study of unsuccessful college presidencies.

Compelling essays that make good beach reading

We are into the summer reading season: the time when we choose books to take to the beach or the lake, or to while away the misery of planes and airports. Publishers see this as a chance to promote feel-pretty-good family sagas or romances, or mysteries that nudge the inner detective rather than threaten anything more serious.

A flawed book still worth reading

Yascha Mounk is a good writer and a bright Harvard University political scientist. While this sounds impressive, one should bear in mind that politics is not really a science. Instead, it is a bubbling cauldron of individual and group prejudices, loyalties, traditions, sentiments, interests and cultural forces that defies a purely scientific analysis.

Unveiling the evidence of an intelligent designer

"Time really does have a beginning." And, if time demonstrably has a beginning, then that argues for a Beginner. That profound claim is amply supported by astronomer Hugh Ross in the fourth edition of his accessible book "The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Latest Scientific Discoveries Reveal God."

How honored glory came to a soldier known but to God

On a wintry day in October 1921, Army Lt. Arthur E. Dewey knelt on the muddy turf alongside one of the hundreds of crosses in a U.S. military burial ground in Thiaucourt, France.

Finding better angels, and becoming better

The United States has a problem. We have devolved into a mostly anti-intellectual country, instead now run by showmen and politicians and talking heads and hucksters who would rather look and talk of themselves on TV or Facebook or look into a camera than talk of freedom, liberty, wisdom, philosophy. Where the great minds went, we don't know.