September 30, 2006

Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, September 2006

E. R. Chamberlin, The Bad Popes
Not, sadly, all of the bad popes, but rather a selection of seven of (to Chamberlin's mind) the worst.
Max Beerbohm, Seven Men
Many thanks to John Burke for recommending this wonderfully funny, yet surprisingly creepy, little book. (The story of one of the six men, "'Savonarola' Brown", is online.)
Sheri Berman, The Primacy of Politics: Social Democracy and the Making of Europe's Twentieth Century
A highly interesting book which nonetheless does not deliver what it promises. I will defer detailed comments to the forthcoming Crooked Timber symposium.
Steven Runciman, Byzantine Civilization
Short, introductory history of an era of which I am largely ignorant; so, I'm not actually sure I have any grounds to recommend it, except that I feel less ignorant now, and it's well-written. Definitely shows its age, however; nobody, surely, would now worry over "Hellenistic" versus "Aramaean" influences in art?
Anthony Shadid, Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War
For America, the war is merely a politico-military disaster and thousands of causalties; for the Iraqis, it is infinitely worse. An intelligent presentation of how the war looked to a wide spread of Arab Iraqis, by a very good Arabic-speaking American journalist.

Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur

Posted at September 30, 2006 23:59 | permanent link

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