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Book Review: Principle Over Party by R. Alton Lee

Why do certain political ideas take root and gain acceptance while others advocated by the same party or movement do not? That question can’t help but come to mind reading R. Alton Lee’s Principle over Party: The Farmers’ Alliance and Populism in South Dakota, 1880-1900.

The Farmers’ Alliance and the political parties to which it […]

Book Review: Turbulence by Giles Foden

Using weather as a metaphor can be tricky business. One of the worst sentences I’ve read in years invoked a “restless silver sky.” F. Scott Fitzgerald on the other hand used it to noted effect in The Great Gatsby. The risk for a writer may be even greater when weather is the central allegory.

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Weekend Edition: 8-13

Interesting Reading in the Interweb Tubes

What Jock Culture Does To Pukes Like You (“Jock Culture is a distortion of sports. It can be physically and mentally unhealthy, driving people apart instead of together. It is fueled by greed and desperate competition.”) (via)

The History of Torture—Why We Can’t Give It Up (“Torture by […]

Book Review: God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales by Penn Jillette

It’s hard to see and hear Penn Jillette without forming some sort of opinion. Jillette, the large (nearly 6 foot, 7 inches tall and approximately 300 pounds) half of the illusionist-magician-comic duo Penn & Teller, is talented, brash and unabashed. He’s never been loath to express his views. And his new book, God, No!: Signs […]

Book Review: The Missing of the Somme by Geoff Dyer

The War to End All Wars didn’t. At least in the United States, the vast majority of those alive today probably view World War I as the chapter in their history textbook before the Depression and World War II. And the death earlier this year of the last surviving combat veteran of the Great War […]

Book Review: The Long Night: William L. Shirer and the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by Steve Wick

It sticks out on almost any bookshelf. Like the cover, a white circle appears in the center of the jacket spine, the antithesis of the black that otherwise fills the space. In the midst of the circle is black again, but in the shape of the Nazi swastika. The title, The Rise and Fall of […]