Blogroll

Book Review: A Force So Swift by Kevin Peraino

We’ve all watched with fascination those arrangements where hundreds or thousands of dominoes tumble one after the other to form an elaborate illustration. And who hasn’t somewhat envied the person who got to tip the first domino?

Such concepts aren’t limited to fun or entertainment. Images of dominoes falling were crucial to U.S. foreign policy […]

Book Review: Death of an Assassin by Ann Marie Ackerman

For the second time in a year, I’ve had book encounters with 19th century European assassins who eventually fled to the United States and began new lives under different names. The first was Sergei Degaev, who assassinated the chief of Tsar Nicholas’s security organization in 1883. Sixteen years later he would become a popular professor […]

American regression

Every day the onslaught continues, more and more straw falling on the camel’s back. And Trump lending aid and comfort to Nazis and racists is just further evidence that we’re backsliding from decades-old principles. This is especially so when both he and Congress want to deprive millions of health insurance and make sure corporations and […]

Book Review: The Irrationalist by Andrew Pessin

Historical fiction is unique in several ways. In particular, while all fiction — at least good fiction — requires imagination and intelligence, historical fiction, according to bestselling author Alexander Chee, deals with “the plausibly hypothetical” and describes “what might have happened within what happened.” The constraints of real events, people and ways of life often […]

Book Review: Crowns in Conflict by Theo Aronson

While reading Theo Aronson’s Crowns in Conflict: The Triumph and Tragedy of European Monarchy 1910-1918, an essentially biographic approach to World War I’s effect on Europe’s monarchies, I often thought of another book I read years ago. The Fall of Eagles, C.L.Suzberger’s account of the fall of the Habsburg, Hohenzollern, and Romanov dynasties, was on […]

Book Review: Red Fire by Wei Yang Chao

While the American Revolution is central to the Fourth of July, America also seemed to encounter a revolutionary temperament in 1968. We weren’t alone; revolution also seemed to be in the air in Europe. Even the counterculture symbol The Beatles would record their first politically explicit song, “Revolution.” Yet you’ve got to wonder how much […]