December 31, 2010


Ferguson, Niall, Charles S. Maier, Erez Manela, & Daniel J. Sargent, eds., The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective (Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England: Belknap/Harvard U. Press, 2010) ("Yet if the seventies appear to have launched a 'second wind' for the United States in it career as global superpower, as historian Charles Maier proposes, we ought to recall that the republic has paid for its reinvigorated primacy with new kinds of vulnerability. Globalization has eroded public authority over the economy and has encouraged the outsourcing of industrial labor, devastating the manufacturing heartland; it has subjected U.S. actions at home and abroad to the oversight of global opinion (Abu Ghraib being an exception that demonstrates the rule); and it has facilitated the violence of transnational terrorists, as we learned on 9/11. Historically, to return to the question of agency, globalization has been anything but an imperial project imposed on weak nations by the United States. As the experience of the 1970s implies, the United States has been an object as much as an agent of globalization. Its autonomy in an integrating world has been diminished, while its leadership role, the nature of its power among nations, and the character of its influence in the world have been transformed." From Chapter 3, Daniel J. Sargent, "The United States and the Globalization in the 1970s," at 49, 63-64.).

December 30, 2010

TONY JUDT, 1948-2010

Judt, Tony, The Memory Chalet (New York: The Penguin Press, 2010)."Moral seriousness in public life is like pornography: hard to define but you know it when you see it. It describes a coherence of intention and action, an ethic of political responsibility. All politics is the art of the possible. But art too has it ethics. . . ." Id. at 31. "The opposite of austerity is not prosperity but luxe et volupe. We have substituted endless commerce for public purpose, and expect no higher aspirations from our leaders. Sixty years after Churchill could offer only 'blood, toil, tears and sweat,' our very own war president--notwithstanding the hyperventilated moralism of his rhetoric-cold think of nothing more to ask of us in the wake of September 11, 2001, than to continue shopping. This impoverished view of community--the 'togetherness' of consumption00is all we deserve from those who govern us. If we want better rulers, we must learn to ask more from them and less for ourselves. A little austerity might be in order." Id. at 32. "The 'professionalization' of academic writing--and the self-conscious grasping of humanists for security of 'theory' and 'methodology' favors obscurantism. This has encouraged the rise of a counterfeit currency of glib 'popular' articulacy: in the discipline of history this is exemplified by the ascent of the 'television don,' whose appeal lies precisely in his claim to attract a mass audience in an age when fellow scholars have lost interest in communication. But whereas as an earlier generation of popular scholarship distilled authorial authority into plain text, today's 'accessible' writers protrude uncomfortably into the audience's consciousness. It is the performer, rather than the subject, to whom the audience's attention is drawn." Id. at 152.).

December 29, 2010


Minow, Martha, In Brown's Wake: Legacies of America's Educational Landmark (Oxford & New York: Oxford U. Press, 2010) ("Efforts to end racial segregation in schools could fail in two quite different ways. They could fail, in fact, to bring about racial mixing. Or they could bring about racial mixing that turns out to replicate the racial hierarchy and subordination expressed in the segregated system. Evasion is the first problem; perpetuation is the second. The racial desegregation effort following Brown has suffered both fates. Decades of resistance preceded new patterns of public and private actions, producing racially identifiable schools that in turn mirror the economic and social disparities between whites and members of other races, even as the nation grows more diverse. Courts and communities have failed to sustain desegregation efforts that worked. Strikingly, the racial achievement gap persists in racially mixed middle-class schools-- even among African Americans and Hispanics who are themselves middle-class, and among academically motivated and focused students of color. Whether in the same school or in substantially separate schools, students across the country, with notable exceptions, continue to register a racial gap in school achievement (measured by test scores) that mirror the gap between whites and African Americans and Latinos in home ownership, occupation, education, and wealth, Disparities in access to educational resources also persist when the experience of white students are compared with those of black and Hispanic students." "Meanwhile the ideal of integration no longer motivates people of any race. . . ." Id. at 26-27. That said, from the bookjacket: "What is the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education? While it is well known for establishing racial equality as a central commitment of American schools, the case also inspired social movements for equality in education across all lines of difference, including language, gender, disability, immigration status, socio-economic status, religion, and sexual orientation. Yet more than a half century after Brown, American schools are more racially separated than before, and educators, parents, and policy maker still debate whether the ruling requires all-inclusive classrooms in terms of race, gender, disability and other differences." "In Brown's Wake examines the reverberations of Brown in American schools, including efforts to promote equal opportunities for all kinds of students. School choice, once a strategy for avoiding Brown, has emerged as a tool to promote integration and opportunities, even as charter schools and private school voucher programs enable new forms of self-separation by language, gender, disability, and ethnicity.").

December 28, 2010


Hagan, Who Are the Criminals?: The Politics of Crime Policy from the Age of Roosevelt to the Age of Reagan (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2010) (From the bookjacket: "How did the United Stated go from being a country that tries to rehabilitate street criminals and prevent white-collar crime to one that harshly punishes common lawbreakers while at the same time encouraging corporate crime through a massive deregulation of business? Why do street criminals get stiff prison sentences, a practice that has led to the disaster of mass incarceration, while white-collar criminals, who arguably harm more people, get slaps on the wrist--if they are prosecuted at all? . . ." ""John Hagan argues that the recent history of American criminal justice can be divided into two eras--the age of Roosevelt (roughly 1933-1973) and the age of Reagan (1974 to 2008). A focus on rehabilitation, corporate regulation, and the social roots of crime in the earlier period was dramatically reversed in the later era. In the age of Reagan the focus shifted to the harsh treatment of street crimes, especially drug offenses, which disproportionally affected minorities and the poor and resulted in wholesale imprisonment. And the same time, a massive deregulation of business provided new opportunities, incentives, and even rationalization for white-collar crime. . . ." "The time for moving beyond Reagan-era crime policies is long overdue, Hagan argues. The understanding of crime must be reshaped and we must reconsider the relative harms and punishments of street and corporate crimes." Americans, though acknowledging the super rich and (begrudgingly) the super poor, love to think of themselves as living in a essentially classless society. Any meaningful discussion of America's crime policy gives the lie to that thought. The American criminal justice system, during what Hagan refers to as the "age of Reagan,' became increasing harsh toward one class (minorities and the poor), while becoming increasingly lenient toward another class (mainly white middle-class, and business.).

December 27, 2010


Ackerman, Bruce, The Decline and Fall of The American Republic (The Tanner Lectures on Human Values) (Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London, England: Belknap/Harvard U. Press, 2010) ("I predict that: (1) the evolving system of presidential nominations will lead to the election of an increasing number of charismatic outsider types who gain office by mobilizing activist support for extremist programs of the left or the right; (2) all presidents, whether extremist or mainstream, will rely on media consultants to design streams of sound bites aimed at narrowly segmented micropublics, generating a politics of unreason that will often dominate public debate; (3) they will increasingly govern through their White House staff of superloyalists, issuing executive orders that their staffers will impose on the federal bureaucracy even when they conflict with congressional mandates; (4) they will engage with an increasingly politicized military in ways that may greatly expand their effective power to put their executive orders into force throughout the nation; (5) they will legitimate their unilateral actions through an expansive use of emergency powers, and (6) assert 'mandates from the People' to evade or ignore congressional statutes when public opinion polls support decisive action; (7) they will rely on elite lawyers in the executive branch to write up learned opinions that vindicate the constitutionality of their most blatant power grabs. These opinions will rubber-stamp presidential actions months or years before the Supreme Court gets into the act--and they will generate heated debate amongst the broader legal community. With the profession divided, and the president's media machine generating a groundswell of support for his power grab, the Supreme Court may find it prudent to stage a strategic retreat, allowing the president to displace Congress and use his bureaucracy and military authority to establish a new regime of law and order." "These are the dynamics of decline and fall for the American Republic . . . . Id. at 9-10. A thoughtful and provocative lecture. It provides several dire warnings. Will we take note? Probably not.).

December 26, 2010


Levmore, Saul, & Martha C. Nussbaum, eds., The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy, and Reputation (Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London, England, 2010) (An Understatement: "With so many ideas in play, and human relationships at stake, it is no wonder that these essays are both informative and provocative." Id. at 11.).

December 25, 2010


Auster, Paul, Sunset Park: A Novel (New York: Henry Holt, 2010) ("Bit by bit, he has pared down his desires to what is now approaching a bare minimum. He has cut out smoking and drinking, he no longer eats in restaurants, he does not own a television, a radio, or a computer. He would like to trade in his car for a bicycle, but he can't get rid of the car, since the distances he must travel for work are too great. The same applies to the cellphone he carries around in his pocket, which he would dearly love to toss in the garbage, but he needs it for work as well and therefore can't do without it. . . . His rent is low, since he lives in a small apartment in a poor neighborhood, and beyond spending money on bedrock necessities, the only luxury he allows himself is buying books, paperback books, mostly novels, American, novels, British novels, foreign novels in translation, but in the end books are not luxuries so much as necessities, and reading is an addiction he has no wish to be cured of." Id. at 6-7. See Joyce Carol Oates, "My Son, My Son!", NYRB, December 23, 2010, at 49.).

Booth, Martin, A Very Private Gentleman: A Novel (New York: Picador, 2004) ("Along one wall is a row of windows: like the fireplace, they are a modern addition. Opposite them are the bookshelves." "I enjoy books. No room is fit for occupation without a lining of books. They contain the condensed experiences of humanity. To live fully, one has to read widely. I do not intend to face a man-eating lion in the African veldt, fall from an aircraft into the Arabian Sea, soar through outer space or march with the legions of Rome against Gaul or Carthage, yet books can take me to these places, to these predicaments. In a book, Salome can seduce me, I can fall in love with Marie Dupleissis, have my own Lady of the Camellias, a private Monroe or exclusive Cleopatra. In a book I can rob a bank, spy on the enemy, kill a man. Kill any number of men. No, not that. One man at a time is enough for me. It aways was. And I do not always seek experience second-hand." Id. at 20-21.).

Byatt, A. S., The Children's Book: A Novel (New York: Knopf, 2009) (See Jennifer Schuessler, "Dangerous Fancies," NYT, 10/11/2009.).

Citkowitz, Evgenia, Ether: Seven Stories and a Novella (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010) (See Ligaya Mishan, "Fumblers and Dreamers, NYT Book Review, Sunday, 5/30/2010.).

Donoghue, Emma, Room: A Novel (New York & Boston: Little, Brown, 2010) (See Aimee Bender, Separation Anxiety," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 9/19/2010).

Eisenberg, Deborah, The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg (New York: Picador/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010) (See Jean Thompson, "Don't Have a Nice Day," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 4/18/2010.).

Goldberg, Myla, The False Friend: A Novel (New York: Doubleday, 2010) (See Marilyn Stasio, "Childhood Attachments," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 10/24/2010.).

Gombrowicz, Witold, Pornografia: A Novel translated from the Polish by Danuta Borchardt, with a foreword by Sam Lipsyte (New York: Grove Press, 2009) .

Goncharov, Ivan, Oblomov: A Novel translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz, with an afterword by Mikhail Shishkin (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2008) (From the book jacket: "In this first translation taken from the definitive L. S. Geiro edition, translator Marian Schwartz captures the wry humor and all-embracing humanity of Ivan Goncharov's classic nineteenth-century satire of quiet resistance to bourgeois life. Ilya Ilich Oblomov is a young, serf-owning nobleman largely incapable of overcoming his apathy. 'Forced to choose between an unworthy life and sleeping,' writes Mikhail Shishkin in the afterword, 'Oblomov chooses sleep. Suicide by sofa.' ".

Goodman, Allegra, The Cookbook Collector: A Novel (New York: The Dial Press, 2010) ( "'You should have warned me earlier, ' Orion said. 'I would have lowered my expectations.' Lou grinned. 'True story. A woman and her lovely young daughter are sitting on the beach. An enormous wave comes crashing down and sweeps the daughter away. 'The mother is hysterical. Weeping, she stands at the water's edge. If there's a God in heaven, she screams, please bring back my child! 'Lo and behold the wave returns and washes up the lovely daughter, alive and well. 'Thank you, merciful God! the mother cries. Then she looks around her. She looks all around, and at last she calls up to heaven once more. She cries out, There was also a hat?'" Id. at 346-347. See Dominique Browning, "The Insatiable Years," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 7/25/2010.).

Grass, Gunter, The Box: Tales from the Darkroom translated from the German by Krishna Winston (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010) (See Tim Mohr, "Cat and Mouse," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 11/14/2010.).

Grossman, David, To the End of the Land: A Novel translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen (New York: Knopf, 2010) ("'One thing I know, which I never imagined,' he said during one of those hours, with her head resting on his chest.' [] 'You can live an entire life without purpose.' [] 'Once, when I was still the dearly departed me, if you'd told me this was what I could expect, a whole life of this, I'd have dome myself in on the sport. Today I know it's not that terrible. That you certainly can. I'm living proof.' 'But what does that mean? Explain it to me. What do mean, a life without purpose?' He pondered. 'I mean that nothing really hurts you and nothing really makes you happy. You live because you live. Because you happen not to be dead'" Id. at 559. See Colm Toibin, "Losing Battles," NYT Book Review, Sunday 9/26/2010; and "Petals of Blood," The Economist, September 18th 2010, at 103).

Hamilton, Patrick, Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl’s Court (New York: Europa Edition, 2006).

Jacobson, Howard, The Act of Love: A Novel (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008).

Jacobson, Howard, The Finkler Question (New York: Bloomsbury, 2010) (See Janet Maslin, "Jewish Funhouse Mirror Is Alive and Not So Well," NYT, Thursday, 10/21/10.).

Jen, Gish, World and Town: A Novel (New York: Knopf, 2010) (See Donna Rifkind, "Neighborhood Watch," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 11/7/2010).

Jose, F. Sionil, Don Vicente: Two Novels: Tree and My Brother (New York: Modern Library, 1999) ("A man's suicide is the ultimate violence he can fling against the granite circumstances he could not vanquish. It is a lonely and desperate act of supreme courage, not weakness. But it is also an admission of total failure; the destruction of the self is the end of one person's struggle, an end wherefrom there will be no rebirth or resurrection--nothing but the blackness, the impenetrable muck that hides everything, sometimes even the reason for death itself." Id. at 89. "He dug out his gold watch from his waist pocket. 'You have plenty of time,' he said. 'Now listen. You are young and you don't know many things, but do remember this: you are alone on this earth. Alone. You must act for yourself and no other. Kindness is not appreciated anymore, nor is friendship. Think of yourself before you think of others. It's a cruel world, and you have to be hard and cruel, too. They will strangle you if you don't strangle them first. Trust no one but your judgment--and even then don't trust too much.' " Id. at 154-155. "When he sank into his bed a thought coursed through him like ice: all these years he had always felt himself superior to his brother, maybe because he had more education and had seen more of that broader landscape extending beyond Sipnget, and what he had seen and experienced had imbued him with more knowledge, more sensibility. He was, after all, a poet, and he could be really capable of love that was not love of self but love of life--and therefore of death--so that he should be able to give himself to death's embrace and mock that which is also the end. Hew knew now, however, that this was not so, that this was self-deception instead, and that, as his brother had said, he was incapable of sacrifice. And the poetry that he had written--which could hardy be understood even by those with facility in English--of what use was it? Of what use was life? He believed that he had simplicity, but now he knew that he was obscure instead, not because he did not know what he was saying but because his own feelings were inchoate and therefore devoid of real passion. What, then, was in his arteries?" Id. at 390-391.).

Jose, F. Sionil, Dusk: A Novel (New York: Modern Library, 1992) ("There were always excuses, there was no escaping them, for the power to disagree was not with the Indios, just as it would never be with him. So the Church, then, was Castilian. The Church was not interested in justice, or in the abolition of inequality. The temple, then, was just another pit, and the rosary he held offered no salvation. No God can haul men like him up from the abyss of perdition." Id. at 142. " 'Don't ever be a patriot, Eustaquio. Those who think they are or will be delude themselves. Patriotism is selfless. And it is not the generals who are the bravest--they usually have the means to stay away from the battle and thereby lengthen their lives. The bravest are usually those whom we do not know or hear about, those anonymous men who dig trenches, who produce the food. They are the corpus--you understand that word--the body and also the soul of a nation. Eustaquio, my words are just words, but all through history--and you have studied it--it has always been the many faceless men, those foot soldiers, who have suffered most, who have died, It is they who make a nation.' " Id. at 236. "The Cripple was right; the Americans were no different from the Spaniards--they were here to humiliate, to deny life. The three insurrectos who hanged in the plaza in Bauang--they had been dead for ore than a day and still were not cut down and buried decently, The people must see the fearsome handiwork and be coerced into betraying Aguinaldo." Id. at 284.).

Jose, F. Sionil, The Samsons: Two Novels in the Rosales Saga: The Pretenders and Mass (New York: Modern Library, 2000) (I always remember what Mother told me when I was about nine or ten: all those we love we will eventually lose, all those we hate we will eventually face. This is the inevitable sequence, the deafening roll that follows the lightning flash, the drab brown of the fields after the living green of the rainy season." Id. at 332. "Chicken looked at me, his small sad eyes crinkling in a smile. 'Who is innocent and who is guilty?' He shook his head. 'The poor are always guilty and the rich are always innocent. Get some lawyer to stand for you. But while you are here, you must follow the rules--theirs and ours.' 'But the law---' 'The police, what do you think they care for? Their pay, first of all--and the more they can get, through foul means if necessary, the more they will get it. They are not here to help us; they are here to maintain order so that we will continue being what we are--poor.' '" Id. at 488-489.).

Krauss, Nicole, Great House: A Novel (New York: Norton: 2010) (See Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, "Hearts Full of Sorrow," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 10/17/2010.).

Levin, Adam, The Instructions (San Francisco: McSweeney's Rectangulars, 2010) ("'Here's another idea that I'm sure you're familiar with: The world at large is like a gage. The world is bounded and governed, and those who violate its boundaries or defy its governance meet with negative consequences. And, yes, even those who stay within their cage's boundaries and allow themselves to be governed meet with negative consequences, and indeed that happens far more often than should be the case, you'll hear no argument from me on that--I do not deny the world contains its share of injustice, but . . . Most people, Gurion--most people do not violate boundaries, do not defy governance, and most of them come out intact, whereas very few of those who act lawlessly do. And that is why school is so much about following rules. You are here, above all else, to learn to live lawfully for the rest of your life. You are here to learn how to exist in cages without acting as if they are cages, to live like mensches despite being locked in cages. You are here to learn to survive in the world. That is the most basic purpose of our educational system, and it is a high purpose. It is good. I stand behind it. I want you and your fellow students to leave Aptakisic more capable of survival than you were when you entered.'" Id. at 803-804. See Joshua Cohen, "Holy Warrior," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 11/7/2010).

Levy, Andrea, The Long Song: A Novel (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010) (See Fernanda Eberstadt, "When Jamaica Lost Its Chains," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 5/9.2919.).

Machart, Bruce, The Wake of Forgiveness: A Novel (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010) (See Philip Caputo, "Tough Love," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 10/31/2010.).

Mankell, Henning, Daniel: A Novel translated from the Swedish by Steven T. Murray (New York: The New Press, 2010).

Mankell, Henning, Italian Shoes: A Novel translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson (New York: Vintage Books, 2009, 2010) (" 'We're always being made promises,' she said. 'You make them yourself and you listen to others giving theirs. Politicians are always going on about providing a better quality of life for people as they get older, and a health service in which nobody ever gets bedsores. Banks promise you high interest rates, some food promises to make you lose weight if you eat it, and body creams guarantee old age with fewer wrinkles. Life is quite simply a matter of cruising along in your own little boat through a constantly changing but never-ending stream of promises, And how many do we remember? We forget the one we would like to remember, and we remember the ones we'd prefer to forget. Broken promises are like shadows dancing around in the twilight. The older I become, the more clearly I see them. . . .' " Id. at 33.).

Mitchell, David, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel (New York: Random House, 2010) (" 'Stop deserters,' answers another, and Wren calls out: 'Hear the Chaplain!' But Wily closes his Bible. 'Aye, with the tempest howling, with death a near certainty, Paul says, 'Abandon ship and you'll drown; stay aboard with me and you'll survive.' Would you believe him? Would I?' The chaplain shrugs and puffs. 'This was a prisoner in chains, a heretic from a backward ditch of Rome's empire. Yet he persuaded the guards to cut away the boats, and the Book of Acts tells that two hundred and seventy-six were saved by God's mercy. Why did that raggle-taggle crew of Cypriots, Lebanese, and Palestinians heed Paul? Was it his voice, or his face, or . . . something else? Ah, with that secret, I'd be Archbishop Wily by now! Instead, I'm stuck here, with you.' Some of the men laugh. 'I shan't claim, men, that faith always saves a man from drowning--enough devout Christians have died at sea to make a lair of me. But this I do swear: faith shall save your soul from death, Without faith, death is a drowning, the end of ends, and what sane man wouldn't fear that? But with faith, death is nothing worse than the end of this voyage we all life, and the beginning of an eternal voyage in a company of our loved ones, with griefs and woes smoothed out and under the captaincy of our Creator . . .'" Id. at 392-393,).

Moore, Lisa, February (New York: Black Cats. 2009) (See Sylvia Brownrigg, "The Widow in Winter," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 2/21/2010.).

Murray, Paul, Skippy Dies: A Novel (New York: Faber and Faber, 2010) (" 'I suppose we can't really conceive of our way of life ever changing,' she says, ignoring his clunky flattery. 'Let alone coming to an end. It's just like the boys here doing stupid things--you know, climbing electricity pylons, jumping their skateboard off ten-foot walls--because they can't imagine getting hurt, They think they'll go on for ever, So do we. But nothing goes on for ever. Civilizations ends, everything ends, that's what you teach them in History class, isn't it?' " Id. at 206. " 'A life, you see--a life, [Robert] Frost is saying, is something that must be chosen, just like a path through the wood. The tricky thing for us is that we live in an age that seems to present us with a whole raft of choices, a maze of ready-made paths. But if you look more closely, many of them turn out to be simply different versions of the same thing, to buy products, for example, or to believe whatever fabricated narrative we are offered to believe in, a religion, a country, a football team, a war. The idea of making one's own choices, of for example not not believing, not consuming, remain as less travelled as ever . . .' " Id. at 349-350. " 'See, that's exactly the kind of thing I mean,' Farley ripostes, the whole room looking at him now, 'we spend all our time congratulating ourselves on what a great school we are, we go into class every day and fill the kids' heads up with crap, but you try to say anything about what the world's actually genuinely like and someone'll tell you to keep your mouth shut and show some respect --' " Id. at 472. " 'It's a good example of how history works,' Howard says. 'We tend to think of it as something solid and unchanging, appearing out of nowhere etched in stone like the Ten Commandments. But history in the end, is only another kind of story, and stories are different from the truth. The truth is messy and chaotic and all over the place. Often it just doesn't make sense. Stories make things make sense, but the way they do that is to leave out anything that doesn't fit. And often that is quite a lot.' " Id. at 556. See Dan Kois, "Ghost, Come Back Again," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 9/5/2010.).

Naslund, Sena Jeter, Adam and Eve: A Novel (New York: Morrow, 2010) ("For an instant the intruders appeared only as impressions or shapes--one, a long dark rabbinical shape with a beard; two, a business suit with a face like an eagle; three, a tweedy British form. . . . 'The demons of literalism,' I murmured so that Arielle would have some notion of what was at stake." Id. at 309. See Louise Thomas, "In the Beginning," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 10/31/2010.).

Ogawa, Yoko, The Diving Pool: Three Novellas translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder (New York” Picador, 2008).

Ozick, Cynthia, Foreign Bodies: A Novel (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010) (See Thomas Mallon, "Cynthia Ozick's Homage to Henry James," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 11/21/2010.).

Paine, Tom, Scar Vegas and Other Stories (New York: Harcourt, 2000) (From the story, "A Predictable Nightmare on the Eve of the Stock Market First Breaking 6,000": "She stood in the empty lot, swaying slightly, and smoothed her skirt over and over, Melanie Applebee walked in the pink glow of the late afternoon, repeating Stanford Business School Professor Steven Galamudi's axiom: every macroproblem is solvable by a multitude of microdecisions. Bats flitted past her face. A black child biked past her and spit a wad of bubblegum at her." Id. at 171, 181.).

Roth, Philip, Nemesis (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010) (See Leah Hager Cohen, "Summer of '44," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 10/10/2010.).

Rushdie, Salman, Luka and the Fire of Life: A Novel (New York: Random House, 2010) (See Mark Athitakis, "Spellbound," NYT Book Review, Children Books, Sunday, 11/7/2010.).

Schlink, Bernhard, The Weekend translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside (New York: Pantheon Books, 2010) (" 'Enough of your cheap sarcasm. You have no idea what Jorg's talking about. Have the cops ever beaten you up? Have they shackled you by your hands and feet in a jail cell and left you lying in your shit and piss for two days? Have they forced food down your throat, down your windpipes and your bronchial tubes until your lung collapsed? Have they deprived you of sleep night after night for years? And then left you for years without a sound?' Marko bent over the table and yelled at Ulrich. 'It really was war--Jorg hasn't worked that out. Back then you knew it too--everyone knew. How many leftists have I met who have told me they neatly ended up in the armed struggle back then! They didn't, they preferred to have other people fighting and failing for them--vicariously. I understand that people are afraid of the struggle and stay out if it. The fact that you act as if there hadn't been a war leaves me speechless.' " Id. at 95.) Also, see Ian Buruma, "Living Down the Past," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 10/17/2010)..

Spencer, Scott, Man in the Woods: A Novel (New York: Ecco, 2010) (See Ron Carlson, "What the Dog Saw," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 10/10/2010).

Spencer, Scott, A Ship Made of Paper: A Novel (New York; Ecco, 2003).

Tremain, Rose, Trespass: A Novel (New York: Norton, 2010) (See David Leavitt, "Place of Last Resort," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 10/24/2010.).

Turow, Scott, Innocent (New York & Boston: Grand Central, 2010) (see Michiko Kakutani, "A Man With a Dead Wife on His Hands," NYT, Friday, 4/30/2010; and Terrence Rafferty, "Twice Accused," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 5/16/2010.).

Vasquez, Juan Gabriel, The Informers: A Novel translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean (New York: Riverhead Books, , 2004, 2008) (See Larry Rohter, "In 1940s Colombia Blacklists and 'Enemy Aliens'," NYT, Monday, 8/3/2009: “'The system of blacklists gave power to the weak, and the weak are the majority,' one character in The Informer muses bitterly. 'That was life during those years: a dictatorship of weakness. The dictatorship of resentment,' in which there were thousands 'who accused, who denounced, who informed'." "Nearly 7,000 Axis nationals even ended up in internment camps in the United States, held in escrow for bargaining purposes and in some cases detained well after the end of the war. Mr. Vásquez, however, focuses on a much smaller group and topic: German immigrants to Colombia and the corrosive effect their plight had on their native-born children." Id.).

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Pamuk, Orhan, The Naïve and the Sentimental Novelist (The Charles Eliot Nortn Lestures, 2009) translated from the Turkish by Nazim Dikbas (Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England: Harvard U. Press, 2010) ("Novels are second lives. Like dreams . . . , novels reveal the colors and complexities of our lives and are full of people, faces, and objects we feel we recognize. Just as in dreams, when we read novels we are sometimes so powerfully struck by the extraordinary nature of the things we encounter that we forget where we are and envision ourselves in the midst of the imaginary events and people we are witnessing, At such times, we feel that the fictional world we encounter and enjoy is more real than the real world itself. That these second lives can appear more real to us than reality often means that we substitute novels for reality, or at least that we confuse them with real life. But re ever complain of this illusion, this naivete. On the contrary, just as in some dreams, we want the novel we are reading to continue and hope that this second life will keep evoking in us a consistent sense of reality and authenticity. In spite of what we know about fiction, we are annoyed and bothered if a novel fails to sustain the illusion that it is actually real life." Id. at 3.).

December 24, 2010


Wilentz, Sean, Bob Dylan in America (New York: Doubleday, 2010) (A faculty member, of the school paying my mortgage, wanted to make a compilation of the faculty's 'favorite' songs. I do not know whether the project went forward, but my contribution/suggestion was then, and would remain now, Bob Dylan's "Gates of Eden." Here is Wilentz writing about the song. "'The Gates of Eden,' as [Dylan] called it that night, took us furthest out into the realm of the imagination, to a point beyond logic ad reason. Like 'It's Alright, Ma,' the song mentions a book title in its first line, but the song is more reminiscent of the poems of William Blake (and, perhaps, of Blake's disciple Ginsberg) than it is of Tolstoy's War and Peace, vaunting the truth that lies in surreal imagery." "After an almost impenetrable first verse, the song approaches themes that were becoming familiar to Dylan's listeners. In Genesis, Eden is the paradise where Adam and Eve had direct communication with God. According to 'Gates of Eden,' it is where truth resides, without bewitching illusions. And the song is basically a list, verse after verse, of the corrosive illusions that Dylan would sing about constantly from the mid-1960s on: illusions about obedience to authority; about false religions and idols (the 'utopian hermit monks' riding on the golden calf); about possessions and desires; about sexual repression and conformity (embodied by the 'gray flannel dwarf'); about high-toned intellectualism. None of these count for much in the final verse or even exist inside the gates of Eden." "The kicker comes in the final verse, where the singer talks of his lover telling him of her dreams without any attempt at interpretation--and at times, the singer thinks that the only truth is that there is no truth outside the gates of Eden. It's a familiar conundrum: If there is no truth, isn't saying as much really an illusion, too, unless we are all in Eden? ('All Cretans are liars,' says the Cretan.) What makes that one truth so special? But the point, as the lover knows, is that outside of paradise, interpretation is futile. Don't try to figure out what the song, or what any work of art, 'really' means; the meaning is in the imagery itself; attempting to define it is to succumb to the illusion that truth can be reached through human logic. So Dylan's song told us, as he took the measure in his lyrics of what had begun as the 'New Vision,' two and a half miles up Broadway from Lincoln Center at Columbia, in the mid-1940s. Apart from Dylan, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso may have been the only people in Philharmonic Hall who go it." Id. at 99-100. Few get it, even now.).

December 23, 2010


Pufendorf, Samuel, The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented (The Works of Samuel Pufendorf; Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics), Edited and with an Introduction by Simone Zurbuchen; Translated from the German by Theophilus Dorrington, 1703 (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002) (From the book jacket: "In The Divine Feudal Law Pugendorf attempts to demonstrate that a union of Lutherans and Calvinists is possible. The aim is not to eliminate disagreements in religion but to take away the evils that arise from those disagreements, and Pufendorf advises that the proper means of securing the peaceful coexistence of different confessions should occur via mutual agreement rather than enforcement by law. It is important to note that Pufendorf did not propose to unite the Protestants with the Roman Catholic Church, in part because Protestants would never accept the infallibility of the pope, the principle on which the Church of Rome is founded. . . .").

Pufendorf, Samuel, Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion in Reference to Civil Society (The Works of Samuel Pufendorf; Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics), Edited and with an Introduction by Simone Zurbuchen; Translated from the German by Jodocus Crull, 1698 (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002) (From the Zurbuchen's Introduction: "John's Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration . . . is widely known as a founding text in the history of toleration. It is usually claimed that Locke was among the first who defended a 'modern' concept of toleration. This interpretation rests on the basic distinction between a 'traditional' and a 'modern' doctrine of toleration. The former sees toleration as a grant or privilege bestowed on individuals or groups by the ruler. Toleration is conceived not as a good in itself but rather as a temporary means to overcome religious dissent. The ultimate goal remains the reunification of different religions or religious denominations. The 'modern' doctrine of toleration is marked by a shift to a religious liberty or freedom of conscience. In this view, liberty is an entitlement that does not depend on an agency that grants privileges. The liberty-based approach to toleration amounts to a principled defense of religious dissent and implies the permanence and ineradicability of religious diversity." Id. at ix. The 'modern' notion of tolerance is implicit in the American Constitution's "exercise" and "establishment" clauses. However, it seems that more than a few religious Americans believe in such tolerance for themselves and their co-religiousists but not for others. With respect to those others, at best they seem to have adopted the 'traditional' notion of tolerance. That is, that those others have been granted some temporary tolerance until such time as they can be made to see the light. Religious intolerance is an increasing source of tension in America, and will be the unmaking of America.).

Pufendorf, Samuel, The Present State of Germany (The Works of Samuel Pufendorf; Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics), Edited and with an Introduction by Michael J. Seidler; Translated from the German by Edmund Bohun, 1696 (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007) (From the book jacket: "The Present State of Germany, one of Samuel Pufendorf's earliest and most important works, was first published in 1667 under the pseudonym Severinus de Monambano. Its blunt, colorful, and unapologetic challenge to mainstream German constitutional law made it enormously controversial as soon as it appeared, and its author was both vilified and exalted in the acrimonious debate that followed. It became one of the most reprinted books of the late seventeenth century.).

Pufendorf, Samuel, Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence (The Works of Samuel Pufendorf; Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics), Edited and with an Introduction by Thomas Behme; Translated from the German by William Abbott Oldfather, 1931 (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2009) (From the book jacket: "The appearance of Samuel Pufendorf's earliest work, Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence, inaugurated the modern natural-law movement in the German-speaking world. It also established Pufendorf as a major figure in natural law and laid the foundation for his later works, which were to sweep across Europe and North America.").

Pufendorf, Samuel, The Whole Duty of Man, According to the Law of Nature (The Works of Samuel Pufendorf; Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics), Edited and with an Introduction by Ian Hunter & David Saunders; Two Discourse and a Commentary by Jean Barbeyrac; Translated from the German by David Saunders, 1691 (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007) ("Man is a Creature not only most sollicitious for the Preservation of Himself; but has Himself also so nice an Estimation and Value, that to diminish any thing thereof does frequently move him as great Indignation, as if a Mischief were done to his Body or Estate, Nay, there seems to him to be somewhat of Dignity in the Appellation of Man: so that the last and most efficacious Argument to curb the Arrogance of insulting Men, is usually, I am not a Dog, but a Man as well as your self. Since then Human Nature is the same in us all, and since no Man will or can cheerfully join a Society with any, by whom he is not at least to be esteemed equally as a Man and as a Partaker of the same Common Nature: It follows that, among those Duties which Men owe to each other, this obtains the second Place, That every man esteem and treat another as naturally equal to himself, or as one who is a Man as well as he." Id. at 100.).

December 18, 2010


Appiah, Kwame Anthony, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen (New York: Norton, 2010) ("It's important to understand that while honor is an entitlement to respect--and shame comes when you lose that title--a person of honor cares first of all not about being respected but about being worthy of respect. Someone who just wants to be respected won't care whether he is really living up to the code; he will just want to be thought to be living up to it. He will be managing his reputation, not maintaining his honor. To be honorable you have both to understand the honor code and to be attached to it: these are the conditions that the anthropologist Frank Henderson Stewart takes to define a sense of honor. For the honorable person, honor itself is the thing that matters, not honor's rewards. You feel shame when you have not met the standard of the honor code, and you feel it . . . whether or not anyone else knows you have failed." "Shame is the feeling appropriate to one's own dishonorable behavior. (Because of this connection between honor and shame, one way of speaking of those who are especially dishonorable is to say that they are shameless.) The appropriate response from others if you breach the code is, first, to cease to respect you and, then, actively to treat you with disrespect. The feeling we have for those who have done what is shameful is contempt. . . ." Id. at 16-17. "What is democratic about our current culture, then, is that we now presuppose all normal human beings, not just those who are especially elevated, to be entitled to respect. But granting everyone recognition respect is perfectly consistent with granting greater appraisal respect to some that to others, because these are different forms of respect. From now, I'll reserve the term dignity for one species of honor, namely, the right to recognition respect. So now we can say: Honoring some especially is consistent with recognizing the dignity of everyone else. Such dignity does not require the comparative forms of appraisal that go with more competitive forms of honor. It;s not something you earn and the appropriate response to you dignity is not pride so much as self-respect; after all, if your humanity entitles you to respect, then it entitles you to respect even from yourself! Id. at 130. "[R]ecognition respect of a basic sort is now something we believe everyone is entitled to, in the form of human dignity. But that doesn't mean that wee won't grant different forms of respect to people of particular identities. We grant just particular rights to respect to priest during services, mangers at work, policemen in uniform, judges on the bench, and many other public officials in the conduct of their duties. Often in these cases our respect takes the form of a kind of context-bound deference: in the courtroom, we call the judge 'Your Honor,' and we don't criticize her with the same frankness we might display if she made a legal error in a dinner party conversation." "One of the consequences of the democratization of our culture is that we don't expect people to show deference of this sort to their fellow citizens outside of the contexts of their special roles . . . ." Id. at 190-191. (1) Professor Appiah has provided a thoughtful discourse on the nature, sources, and meanings of honor. The deficiency of The Honor Code, if it is a deficiency, in that it does not say enough about why we ought to show respect (that is, why we should honor) certain individuals and about why we ought not show respect (that is, why we should hold in contempt) certain other individuals. For instance, why we ought to respect the Office of the President of the United States, and by extension the person occupying that office; yet why we perhaps not respect Richard Nixon the man. There is a tension there, a tension which is not adequately resolved by drawing contextual lines. (2) The book contains a very brief discussion, a mere reference really, of professional ethics and esteem. Though it is certainly far beyond the scope of The Honor Code, I could not help but think about the status of honor within my own professions: law and law teaching. Not knowing of any empirical study addressing the question, I cannot support the following proposition with hard evidence. Yet, it does seem to me that both professions are highly populated by individuals who want to be thought as honorable and want to be thought of deserving of respect, but who are not all that interested in being honorable or being worthy of respect. In professional ethics/responsibility courses for lawyers the focus seems to be on what actions will get a lawyer disbarred, or disciplined, or the subject of a malpractice suit. Virtually no time is devoted to what is required of the lawyer to be affirmatively worthy of professional respect. All sorts of pieces are written about 'super lawyers,' meaning the lawyers you should hire to represent you (assuming you can afford to do so). Very little print space is devoted to identifying lawyers who are worthy of our respect by virtue of the way they conduct themselves and the values that exhibit. As to the profession of law teaching . . . . Some things are better left unsaid. (3) In reading The Honor Code I was reminded of something V.S. Naipaul had written. "When men knew in their bones that governments are malign, and that there are no laws or institutions they can trust, the idea of honor becomes vital. Without that idea men who have no voice or representation in the world can become nothing. The poor, especially, need the idea." V. S. Naipaul, Beyond Belief: Islamic Excisions Among the Converted People (New York: Random House, 1998), at 322. "[W]he there was no law, no constitution that men could trust, the code and the idea of honor protected men. But it also worked the other way. Where the code was strong there could be no rule of law." Id. at 328. One might wonder whether a renewed interest in honor codes indicates a sense that the law is failing, that the law does not inspire trust, that the law itself is deemed unworthy of respect? When the law is viewed as so broken as to be worthy of disrespect, people search for an alternatively to law.).

Bok, Sissela, Exploring Happiness: From Aristotle to Brain Science (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press, 2010) ("My second aim was to consider . . . perennial moral issues about how we should lead our lives and how we should treat another. What are the wisest steps to take in the pursuit of happiness? What moral considerations should set limits to such pursuits? What else should matter in human life aside from happiness? How should we weigh our own happiness against that of others in a world where we are aware, as never before, of extremes of misery and opulence? How might we best take into account what we are learning about the effects of our individual and collective choices on the prospects for the well-being of future generation? And how should we respond to individuals and groups advocating intolerant or outright inhumane conceptions of happiness or well0being?" "Bypassing such moral issues makes it easier to give short shrift to assumptions that form the subtext to even the most innocuous-seeming views of happiness. These assumptions concern power--power exerted or defended against, whether in families, communities, or political and religious institutions. Often unspoken, these assumptions are about who has the right to pursue happiness, who does or does not deserve happiness, and whether the happiness of some requires the exclusion or exploitation of others, Today, conflicts over them are playing out on a far larger stage than ever before, reaching billions of individuals across the globe, their fortunes affected by global economics shifts beyond their control, their hopes fanned by mass media promotion of methods for achieving happiness in daily life or for finding the path to eternal bliss." Id. at 4. This is a thought-provoking read. However, in this age of the narcissist, the book will go pretty much unread because it requires one to think about the impact of one's choices on others..).

Coles, Robert, Handling One Another Along: Literature and Social Reflection, edited by Trevor Hall & Vicki Kennedy (New York: Random House, 2010) (From the book jacket: "In this book on shaping a meaningful and ethical life, . . . Robert Coles explores how character, courage, and human and moral understanding can be fostered by reflecting on the lives of others, through great literature and art. . . .").

Harris, Sam, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (New York: The Free Pres, 2010) ("I will argue . . . that questions about values--about meaning, morality, and life's larger purpose--are really questions about the well-being of conscious creatures. Values, therefore, translate into facts that can be scientifically understood: regarding positive and negative social emotions, retributive impulses, the effects of specific laws and social institutions on human relationships, the neurophysiology of happiness and suffering, etc. The most important of these facts are bound to transcend culture--just as facts about physical and mental health do. Cancer in the highlands of New Guinea is still cancer; cholera is still cholera; schizophrenia is still schizophrenia; and so, too, I will argue, compassion is still compassion, and well-being is still well-being. And if there are important cultural differences in how people flourish--if, for instance, there are incompatible but equivalent ways to raise happy, intelligent, and creative children--these difference are also facts that must depend upon the organization of the human brain. In principle, therefore, we can account for the ways in which culture defines us within the content of neuroscience and psychology. The more we understand ourselves at the level of the brain, the more we will see that there are right and wrong answers to questions of human values." Id. at 1-2.).

December 14, 2010


'If this is the best of all possible worlds, what must the others be like?' Voltaire, Candide

Abel, Elizabeth, Signs of the Times: The Visual Politics of Jim Crow (Berkeley & Los Angeles: U. of California Press, 2010) ( "WE CATER TO WHITE TRADE ONLY". Sign on a restaurant, Lancaster, Ohio, August 1938. "Why a book about segregation signs in the early years of America's first African American presidency? What is to be gained by looking back at these painful objects at the moment when they appear to have finally relinquished their grip? . . . " "I hope this book will provoke its readers less to draw comfort from the singular breakthroughs of electoral politics than to probe the continuities between the explicit racial laws and signs that traversed a surprisingly large swath of the nation for a surprisingly long time and the more insidious modes and sites of racialization that persist in the twenty-first century, the undeclared color line that continues to delimit neighborhoods, prisons, barracks, places or worship, and schools. What modalities of racism still fracture the social landscape after the dismantling of Jim Crow? Where would the racial signs of our times be situated, and what language would they use? " Id. at xvii. "Reading the signs of Jim Crow, I hope, will deepen our apprehension of their ramifications for the present. Conversely, and perhaps more counterintuitively, such a reading is designed to bring into view a distant glimmer of the postracial in the transactions that troubled even the heavily marked terrain of segregation. Jim Crow's baldly reductive, humiliatingly blunt, cruelly limited and limiting set of terms would seem a most unpromising turf on which to seek nuance or negotiability, but if we look beyond the cursory language of the signs to their discursive and material surround, and if we take into account the vantage points of viewers who recorded their perceptions in photographs that reworked the textual field, these bald directives begin to seem more complex and malleable tools of race making. 'All signs reveal us,' proclaimed Eudora Welty . . . . Welty's claim should not surprise us: the revelatory power routinely accorded language should pertain as well to signs whose limited verbal scope is offset by the heightened visibility, expressivity, and staying power that has rendered them objects of the photographic gaze. Reading Jim Crow signs through the lenses that preserved them for our scrutiny reveals an 'us' that exceeds the local field of their production." Id. at xvii-xix.).

Achcar, Gilbert, The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, translated from the French by G. M. Goshgarian (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009) ("The basic condition for all communication is the ability to understand one's interlocutor: to put oneself, in other words, in his place or in her shoes--which further presupposes the intellectual discipline to step out of one's own temporarily in order to reflect. Nothing is more inimical to dialogue than the a priori assumption that the other's being and thinking are immutable. No dialogue is possible until one acknowledges that it is existence and experience, in both their individual and collective dimensions, and not atavism of one or another stripe, that shape consciousness, including the consciousness of others. Stereotyping the other always goes hand in hand with stereotyping the self. As a rule, is is caricature of the other and idealization of the self, and only rarely the opposite." Id. at 274. From the book's jacket cover: "There is no more inflammatory topic than the Arabs and the Holocaust--the phrase alone can occasion outrage. The terrain is dense with ugly claims and counterclaims: one side is charged with Holocaust denial, the other with exploiting a tragedy while denying the tragedies of others." "In this pathbreaking book, political scientist Gilbert Achcar explores these conflicting narratives and considers their role in today's Middle East dispute. He analyses the various Arab responses to Nazism, from the earliest intimations of the genocide, through the creation of Israel and the destruction of Palestine, and up to our own times, critically assessing the political and historical context for these responses. Finally, he challenges distortions of the historical record, while making no concessions to anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial. Valid criticism of the other, Achcar insists, must go hand-in-hand with criticism of oneself." Also see, "People of the book: Jews and Islam," The Economist, August 14th 2010, at 68-69. "It is not clear whether the author [Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslims Land (see below)] was trying to avoid controversy or is just uninterested in anything but what Jews experienced. Either way, the extraordinary result is that not once does this book about Jews under Islam tackle the question of Muslim anti-Semitism head-on. (The phrase does not even appear in the index.)" "By contrast, Mr. Achcar's 'The Arabs and the Holocaust' looks at it in considerable detail. The book is a study of the evolving attitudes of four different political streams in the 20th-century Arab world: liberal Westernisers, Marxists, nationalists and pan-Islamists. The picture that emerges, especially in the years before the state of Israel, is a complex and nuanced one that rewards careful reading." Id. at 68.).

Arendt, Hannah, The Human Condition, 2d (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 1998) ("The discussion of the whole problem of technology, that is, of the transformation of life and world through the introduction of the machine, has been strangely led astray through in all-too-exclusive concentration upon the service or disservice the machines render to men. The assumption here is that every tool and implement is primarily designed to make human life easier and human labor less panful. Their instrumentality is understood exclusively in this anthropocentric sense. But the instrumentality of tools and implements is much more closely related to the object it is designed to produce, and their sheer 'human value' is restricted to the use the animal laborans makes of them. In other words homo faber, the toolmaker, invented tools and implements in order to erect a world, not--at least, not primarily--to help the human life process. The question therefore is not so much whether we are masters or the slaves of our machines, but whether machines still serve the world and its things, or if, on the contrary, they and the automatic motion of their processes have begun to rule and even destroy world ant things." Id. at 151.).

Atkinson, Rick, An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 (The Liberation Trilogy, Volume One) (New York: Henry Holt, 2002) ("The war's momentum was shifting to the Allies, but in mid-November 1942, few men could see how irrevocable, how tectonic that shift was. . . ." "As for combat, TORCH revealed profound shortcomings in leadership, tactics, equipment, martial elan, and common sense. Certain features of the invasion . . . would be polished by harsh experience and provide a template for Allied offensives throughout the war. But the U.S. Army was simply inept at combined arms--the essence of modern warfare, which requires skillful choreography of infantry, armor, artillery, airpower, and other forces. Most soldiers also remained wedged in the twilight between the 'habits of peace and [the] ruthlessness of war'." "Worse yet, few realized it. Tens of thousands of American soldiers had heard the bullets sing, and any number believed, in George Washington's fatuous phrase, that there was something charming in the sound. That was only because they had not heard many. Those who had seen American tank shells punch through the French Renaults swaggered through their bivouacs with helmets full of wine, crowing 'Bring on the Panzers!' . . . " "They believed they had been blooded. They believed that overpowering the feeble French meant something. They believed in the righteousness of their cause, the inevitability of their victory. , and the immortality of their young souls. And as they wheeled around to the east and pulled out their Michelin maps of Tunisia, they believed they had actually been to war." Id. at 159-160. "At 1:30 in the morning, after a twelve mile hike across the desert, the Rangers crept to within 200 yards of the enemy camp. One of Darby's company commanders had told his men, 'We've got to leave our mark on these people. . . . Every man uses his bayonet as much as he can--those are our orders. And remember this: We're only bringing ten prisoners back--no more and no less." "Screaming Rangers had attacked on a half-mile front, ignoring Italian pleas of 'Non fiermati!' as they raced among the tents gunning down men struggling to pull on their trousers. The Americans suffered only one killed and twenty wounded, with enemy causalities estimate at seventy-five. Eleven Italians had been captured--someone miscounted--and, by one participant's account, at least one wounded prisoner was executed during the return march to avoid slowing the column. ('I did what I was ordered to do,' one Ranger explained years later. 'That was a long time ago. I get a little nervous sometimes when I start telling about some of it.') Fredendall had just returned from Gafsa, where he had passed out to the participants a dozen Silver Stars. The Ranger joked about how it had been ' a good night for a mass murder'."Id. at 331.).

Atkinson, Rick, The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (The Liberation Trilogy, Volume Two (New York Henry Holt, 2007) ("For soldiers in twenty of more Allied divisions, war by the early spring of 1944 seemed ever more primeval. . . . Daily life in combat units resolved itself into noise, filth, isolation, confusion, fatigue, and mortality; everything else seemed extraneous. Soldiers distrusted the gung ho , the cocksure,and anyone less miserable than themselves. 'We learned to live as perhaps once we were long ago, as simply as animals without hope for ourselves or pity for another,' wrote John Muirhead, a B-17 crewman. The conceit of fate, destiny, and God comforted some, but believers and nonbelievers alike rubbed their crucifixes and lucky coins and St. Christopher medals with a suspicion, as Muirhead said, that 'one is never saved for long.' " "They saw things that seared them forever: butchered friends, sobbing children, butchered children, sobbing friends. 'Watched an amputation last night,' an ambulance driver wrote in his diary. 'A Tommy stretcher bearer had stood on a mine and he had to have both legs taken off. One above the knee and one below the knee.' It made soft men hard and hard men harder. A counterintelligence officer noted that combat veterans 'are sometimes possessed by a fury that makes them capable f anything . . . It is as if they are seized by a demon.' Soldier walking through a killing field sometimes stomped on the distended bellies of dead Germans to hear the flatulent noises of the corpses made. 'Slowly I am becoming insensitive to everything,; wrote one soldier in his diary. 'God in heaven, help me to keep my humanity.'" "Many considered humanity an impediment to survival. . ." Id. at 473-474. "The U. S. Army would convict 21,000 deserters during World War II, many of them in the Mediterranean. Clark condemned the surge of self-inflicted wounds in Fifth Army and the "totally inadequate" prison sentences of five to ten years foe soldiers convicted of desertion or going AWOL in the Mediterranean catalogued thirty-five reasons offered by the culprits, including 'My nerves gave way' and 'I was scared.' . . ." " 'Combat exhaustion,' a term coined in Tunisia to supplant the misnomer 'shell shock'; further eroded Allied fighting strength in Italy, as it did elsewhere: roughly one million U.S. soldiers would be hospitalized during the war for 'neuro-psychiatric' symptoms, and half a million would be discharged from the service for 'personality disturbances.' " Id. at 508.)

Bergreen, Laurence, Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe (New York: William Morrow, 2003) ("This circumnavigation forever altered the Western world's idea about cosmology--the study of the universe and our place in it--as well as geography. It demonstrated, among other things, that the earth was round, that the Americas were not part of India but were actually a separate continent, and that oceans covered most of the earth's surface. The voyage conclusively demonstrated that the earth is, after all, one world. But it also demonstrated that it was a world of unceasing conflict, both natural and human. The cost of these discoveries in terms of loss of life and suffering was greater than anyone could have anticipated at the start of the expedition. They had survived an expedition to the ends of the earth, but more than that, they had endured a voyage into the darkest recesses of the human soul." Id at 2-3.).

Brinkmeyer, Robert H., Jr., The Fourth Ghost: White Southern Writers and European Fascism, 1930-1950 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State U. Press, 2009) (From the bookjacket: "In the 1949 classic Killers of the Dream, Lillian Smith described three racial 'ghosts' haunting the mind of the white South: the black woman with whom the white man often had sexual relations, the rejected child from a mixed-race coupling, and the black mammy whom the white southern child first loves but then must reject. In this groundbreaking work, Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr., extends Smith's analysis by adding a fourth 'ghost' lurking in the psyche of the white South--the specter of European Fascism. He explores how southern writers of the 1930s and 1940s responded to Fascism, and most tellingly to the suggestion that the racial politics of Nazi Germany has a special, problematic relevance to the South and its segregated social system." In the Introduction sets out the "primary questions that the present book explores: amidst a cultural crisis rocking the foundations of southern identity and culture, when commentators inside and outside the South routinely equated southern culture with European Fascism, how did white southern writers of the 1930s and 1940s understand themselves and their culture? How did they represent the South, and particularly its system of racial segregation, in their work? How did the European crisis become integrated into their writing? And how did World War II and its aftermath affect their writing?" Id. at 22.).

Carens, Joseph H., Immigrants and The Right to Stay (Boston Review Book) (Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England, 2010).

Cohen, Harvey G., Duke Ellington's America (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 2010).

Cohen, Joshua, A Heaven of Others, Being the True Account of a Jewish Boy, Jonathan Schwarzstein of Tchernichovsky Street, Jerusalem, and his Post-Mortem Adventures in and Reflections on the Muslim Heaven, as Said to Me and Said through Me by an Angel of the One True God Revealed to Me at Night as if in a Dream (Buffalo, NY: Starcherone Books, 2007) (In his New Haven Review, 2/22/2009, Daniel Elkind writes: "Perhaps nothing written since Kafka quite conveys the arbitrary cruelty and absurdity of a world such as this in the most proximate human terms, and the inner sense, or intuition, of a soul that mediates between. In fact, now that so much Jewish literature has been written and rewritten again in English, now that we have so many authors and classics, it is all the more rare and inspiring that Cohen, scandalously overlooked in America, especially by the Jewish literary community—the novel is timestamped almost four years ago, in 2004—continues to delve deeper and further with each book into an inherited terrain while making of that holy ground these beautifully uncharted territories with their own maps and legends. . . . 'How did I get here, if I am still an I' Jonathan asks in the opening sentence, and is mocked in a kind of Yiddish by the narrator, who is himself: 'He got here how he got here.' At once terrifying and singular and singularly important, A Heaven of Others repeats and channels the echo of that initial question, forcing us to see ourselves between destinies, between politics and political persuasions, and between answers themselves, to ask in fact who and what we really are: how did we get here, that is, if we are to remain an I?").

Cohen, Joshua, Witz: A Novel (Champaign & London: Dalkey Archives Press, 2010) ("And yet somewhere outside this Ghetto, tonight, we live, somehow we've survived." "Our kinder have been born into a reduxed Golden Age, haven't they, a new quietleafed loopedaround added onto the Development's annex: into a veritable Pax Americanus, in which Affiliation let's say's not only acceptable, OK (a world leftover from the War, the World one I mean, the Second), but also maybe admirable, in fashion, trendy . . . minorities overcoming obstacles, and good media coverage on that from inmost city to outmost Nowhere, this State truly Godforefutzed; pride in Them, in Us, succeeding, majority at large aiding its minority in rediscovering roots, and in reviving old practices . . . alienation as entrance, and do why not taking pride in that in an enriching, pluralistic, aren't-we-so-damned-Democratic sense, with us and I mean Us attempting to barrierbreak, to cross border until the only barrier we'll ever break again,, the only borders we'll ever hope to cross, will just be those of our own creative erection--and who to apologize to after that? But what's the alternative? Storms trooping death? That's not what we want, is it? But that's how we shine, how we thrive, how we've stayed alive all these sufferings--and perhaps even asking for it all the while, Who forbid, inviting It into our houses: ask and thou shalt receive, ask for the worse and thou shalt receive the worst, ask the line for complaints, it forms to the Links." Id. at 781-782. Also see Stephen Burn, "Tribe of One," NYT Sunday Book Review, 6/13/2010.).

Coles, Robert, Lives We Carry With Us: Profiles of Moral Courage edited by David D. Cooper (New York & London: The New Press, 2010) ("Who, knowing him as a child, a young man, even a young Lutheran pastor and theologian, would have predicted the course of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life, its terrible foreshortening? He died (on April 9, 1945) in a German prison, killed as a convicted traitor to his country. . . ." Id. at 161. 'Not that Bonhoeffer (or anyone else) knew how far in the direction of absolute evil the Nazis would take Germany and all of Europe. But he took a more accurate measure of those murderous thugs than others, and began to do so right away. He was . . . cut off speaking on the radio days after Hitler took office as he warned of the idolatry that would accompany the constant din of 'Fuhrer.' Day by day, month by month, the Nazis engineered their totalitarian hold on the nation, and with it the flagrant racialism of anti-Semitism--a terrible echo, alas, that hearkened back over the centuries to, among other, Luther himself. But now those distant denunciations and, more recently, the Wagnerian descents into a self-importance that was purchased at the expense of others became something quite else: a state-sponsored hate with a killing aim. While his fellow ministers flocked to the Fuhrer, Bonhoeffer and a relative handful of others became part of the 'Confessing Church': on their knees they begged God's forgiveness for what was being said and done in their native land, even as they knew they themselves were risking their own situations, if not their lives, by so doing. It was a time of great testing, a time when some fled, others submitted, still others began what would be the march of many millions to the concentration camps, the factories of murder that only an 'advanced' technology in a nation such as Germany could enable and sustain." Id. at 166-167. "The psychology of the martyr is the psychology of will, of a decision made and its consequences be damned. In this age [late 20th century, early 21st century] of determinisms, emotional and social and historical and economic, there is little room for will in the vocabulary we summon when we try to understand human affairs. . . ." Id. at 171. "To stand outside the gates of money and power and rank and approved success and applause, to be regarded as irregular or odd or 'sick' or, that final exile, as a traitor--such an outcome, in this era, carries its own special burdens and demands: the disapproval, if not derision, of colleagues, neighbors, the larger world of commentators who meticulously fall in line with reigning authority, but perhaps most devastating of all, the sense of oneself that is left in one's mind at the end of the day. What am I trying to do--and is this, after all, not only futile, but evidence that I have somehow gone astray? . . . " Id. at 172. Unfortunately we live in a time and place of group-think and conformity. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Whosoever would be a man, must be a nonconformist." Are we living in a post-man, post-woman society? Conformist all. What evils will we condone, if not actively engage, in our efforts of conformity?).

Drescher, Seymour, Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2009) ("As an institution of global proportions, slavery's fortunes rose and fell over the course of a half millennium. This book examines the intercontinental interaction of violence, economics, and civil society in accounting for the ebb and flow of slavery and antislavery. For thousands of years before the mid-fifteenth century, varieties of slavery existed throughout the world. It thrived in its economically and culturally developed regions The institution was considered indispensable for the continued functioning of the highest forms of political or religious existence. It set limits on how a social order could be imagined. . . ." "By the sixteenth century, however, some northwestern Europeans began to recognize an anomaly in their own evolution. Jurists in the kingdoms of England and France noted that slavery had disappeared from their realms. They claimed that no native-born residents were subject to that status. Although slavery might be recognized elsewhere as one of the normal facts of social relations, their own laws had ceased to sanction it. A 'freedom principle' was now operative, for both their own native-born residents and even foreign slaves who reached their legal jurisdictions ceased to be slaves. The jurists of this freedom principle necessarily viewed their emancipatory enclave as a peculiar institution. Beyond their own free air' or 'free soil,' slavery remained a recognized legal status. There was no question that if the subjects of their realms entered zones of enslavement, they might still be reduced to the status of chattel." "For more than three centuries after 1450, Europeans, Asians, and Africans helped to sustain and expand slavery. Western Europeans did so far beyond their own borders. By 1750, some of their imperial extensions were demographically dominated by slave to a degree unprecedented anywhere on earth. Their colonies were sites of systematic exploitation unparalleled in their productivity and rate of expansion.'" "At the end of the eighteenth century, this robust transoceanic system entered a new era of challenge, spearheaded by the emergence of another northwestern formation - organized antislavery. On both sides of the Atlantic, residents of the world's most dynamic and efficient labor systems were also among those most committed to the extension and consolidation of the freedom principle. In the course of little more than a century, between the 1770s and the 1880s, that vast transoceanic extension of slavery created after 1450 was dismantled. The transatlantic slave trade that had once loaded more than 100,000 Africans per year was abolished. By the 180s, the institution of slavery was abolished throughout the New World." "Then, in a second wave of European expansion form the 1880s to the 1930s, imperial dominion operated under the banner of antislavery not slavery. By the early twentieth century, the institution's former quasi-universal status as a normal element of human existence had been revisioned as an institution fated for inexorable extinction. A world without slaves was now a casually accepted premise of human progress." "That was hardly the end of the story, however, during the second quarter of the twentieth century, slavery dramatically reappeared on the very continent that had proved itself as humanity's engine of emancipation against a 'crime against humanity.' For a brief moment, Europe housed the largest single slave empire (Germany's Third Reich] in five centuries of modern history." Id. at ix-x. "The day-long bombardment of Algiers on August 27, 1816, by the Anglo-Dutch expedition was no flippant exercise in gunboat diplomacy. The Anglo-Dutch expedition cost the British 128 dead and 690 wounded, and the Dutch 13 dead and 52 wounded. No other naval action in the sixty years of British enforcement against African slavers inflicted a fraction of the causalities on Britons as did this single day's antislave trade action. Indeed, Algiers stands as the sole case in the sixty years of British slave trade suppression in which a large number of British lives were lost in actual combat." "To evaluate this 'act of British aggression' in terms of its success or failure in terminating white slavery is to miss the main point of the expedition, It was neither designed to demonstrate power, accumulate glory, nor wipe out corsairing. It was to free thousands of enslaved Europeans - mostly Neapolitans, Sardinians, and Romans - and to rescue British abolitionist policy from the charge of hypocrisy. Moreover, the dissociation from the abolitionists, both in means and ends, was almost complete. The leader of the abolition movement showed little interest in white slavery, either before or after the action in North African. With their deep Quaker linkage, they certainly had no interest in a massive bombardment." Id. at 235. And interesting read, one requiring one to pause to reflect on the possibility that the "freedom principle" is not as secure as we might think and that some form of slavery is an ever present possibility.).

Enzensberger, Hans Magnus, The Silences of Hammerstein: A German Story translated from the German by Martin Chalmers (London, New York & Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2008, 2009) (From the bookjacket: "Enzenberger's latest book is a documentary, a collage of documents, narration, fictional interviews around the lives of the German general Kurt von Hammerstein and his wife and children. A member of an old military family, a brilliant staff officer, last commander of the German Army before Hitler seized power, Hammerstein was nevertheless an idiosyncratic character. Too old perhaps to be a resister--he died in 1943--he retained an independence of mind which marks him out from most of his army colleague. And the kind of obstinacy he exemplified was shared by his children--three of his daughters joined the Communist Party, two sons risked their lives in the July 1944 Plot against Hitler and were subsequently on the run till the end of the war. Hammerstein never criticized his children for their activities, and himself maintained contact with Communists and foresaw the disastrous end of Hitler's dictatorship." "A brilliant and unorthodox account of the military milieu whose acquiescence to Nazism consolidated Hitler's power and of the few who refused to be blinded when offered a share of the spoils." It is easy to be co-opted by those in power, after all, we all want to survive. It is equally understandable how and why those so co-opted rationalize their choice. In that light, then, we should honor those who are not co-opted, who are thus marginalized, and pay the price.).

Fishkin, Shelley Fisher, Was Huck Black?: Mark Twain and African American Voices (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1993) ("Although the mixing of races and the mixing of cultures has been going on from the start, our country's legal system and our society's cultural narratives long accepted the fiction that it was possible to draw sharp lines of demarcation between races. The fiction of 'racial purity'--the notion that it was, in fact, possible to divide society into 'white' and 'black'--justified the elaborate system of segregation statutes created in the 1890s and not dismantled until the middle of the twentieth century." "We may no longer segregate trains, schools, water fountains, waiting rooms, bibles for witnesses in courtrooms, parks, residences, textbooks, telephone booths, ticket windows, ambulances, hospitals, orphanages, prisons, morgues, and cemeteries. But segregation is alive and well among literary historians, who persist in affirming that white writers come from white literary ancestors, and black writers from black ones." "The laws against miscegenation have been struck from the books. But unwritten laws prevent critics from acknowledging how fully black and white voices and traditions have mingled to create what we know as "American" culture. 'The Negro looks at the white man,' Ralph Ellison write, 'and finds it difficult to believe that the 'grays'--a Negro term for white people--can be so absurdly self-deluded over the true interrelatedness of blackness and whiteness.' In this book I have attempted to deconstruct some of those delusions." Id. at 142 (citing Ralph Ellison, Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke," at 55).).

Ford, Lacy K., Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2009) ("[T]he demographic reconfiguration desired by upper South whites was itself partially an expression of a South-wide white desire for an even broader type of ideological reconfiguration, one that would make race the chief mark of social distinction in the region. By the early 1830s, a newly coherent ideology of white supremacy arose to replace the elaborate if informal eighteenth-century system of social hierarchy, which tacitly assigned rank using a variety of measures, with a new nineteenth-century dichotomy of white domination and black subordination. By the 1830s, white southerners (and many other white Americans) increasingly defined social difference primarily by race rather than class, wealth, family, ethnicity, religion, conduct, region, or even property ownership. The ideology of white supremacy replaced an elaborate system of social hierarchy, in which race had been one difference among many, with a simple system centered on race. During the 1830s, this more systematic ideology of white supremacy assigned blacks, free or enslaved, a permanently inferior status and systematically denied them economic and political rights based on skin color." "[T]he ideology of white supremacy could justify racial separation or racial exclusion as well as racial slavery, and it could be (as was) used to justify the whitening of the upper South as well as the adoption of paternalism in the lower South. In Tennessee and North Carolina, upper South states where racial lines had not already been firmly drawn in the public sphere, the rise of this ideology generated a fresh determination to reconfigure the boundaries of political and civic life in ways that systematically excluded all blacks, including propertied free blacks, from political rights. In 1834 and 1835, state constitutional conventions in Tennessee and North Carolina, respectively, fully disfranchised free blacks. The flip side of this movement to eliminate blacks from civic and political life was the increasing tendency of white southerners to see their skin color as a source of entitlement to all the rights and privileges of citizenship." Id. at 9.).

Ford, Lacy K, Jr., Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry 1800-1860 (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1988) ("Although antislavery leaders dismissed the Southern critique of Northern society as merely a tu quogue response to their attacks on slavery, what emerged during the 1850s was not only a scathing indictment of 'wage-slavery' but also a thorough-going defense of slave-labor republicanism. As it existed in South Carolina, chattel slavery enhanced republican liberty in a number of important ways. First, it allowed the economy to expand beyond subsistence level without the creation of a vast proletariat which was economically dependent but politically dangerous. Since slaves were not citizens, the dependent laboring population in the South posed no challenge to the political rule of independent producers. Second, according to South Carolinians, slavery dampened the conflict between labor and capital not only by rendering labor politically impotent but also by introducing a 'moral' dimension into capital's control of labor. In a slave society, labor (slaves) was dependent on capital, yet capital (the masters) was placed in a position where its responsibilities went far beyond mere contractual obligations. Instead, masters were charged with the entire physical and moral stewardship of their chattels. Finally, and most important, South Carolinians argue that slavery strengthened republican values by enhancing the 'independence' of whites and creating a pervasive sense of equality among whites, since all whites could claim membership in a privileged class simply on the basis of race. But black slavery did more for common whites in the South than simply allow them to enjoy whatever psychological satisfaction grew from a sense of belonging to a superior caste defined solely by race. By providing the labor necessary for large-scale commercial agriculture like that of Southern plantations, the so-called 'factories in the fields,' slavery insulated Southern yeomen from that which they feared most: the danger that they would one day be forced to become a laboring class dependent on capitalists for their livelihood. Though deeply rooted in the traditional ideal of personal independence, by the late 1850s, the yeomanry's fear of being proletarianized was fed by the growing power of capital and commerce in the region. Thus, while some planters doubtless saw the profoundly conservative implications of a pro-slavery republicanism which minimized class conflict by literally enslaving the working class, yeoman farmers and other whites saw that same ideology as profoundly egalitarian. Slavery liberated the yeoman from his own potential dependency; slavery for blacks guaranteed the freedom of the common whites." Id. at 353-354. See below Lillian Smith, Killers of the Dream).

Franzen, Jonathan, Freedom: A Novel (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010) ("[Einar] sailed for America on his twenty-second birthday. Once he was there, he never went back to Sweden, never saw his mother again, proudly avowed that he'd forgotten every word of his mother tongue, and delivered, at the slightest provocation, lengthy diatribes against 'the stupidest, smuggest, narrow-minded country on earth.' He became another data point in the American experiment of self-government, an experiment statistically skewed from the outset, because it wasn't the people with sociable genes who fled the crowded Old World for the new continent; it was the people who didn't get along well with others." Id. at 443-444. Also see Michiko Kakutani, "A Family Full of Unhappiness, Hoping for Transcendence," NYT, Monday, 8/16/2010; and Sam Tanenhaus, "Peace and War," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 8/29/2010.).

Fredrickson, George M., Black Liberation: A Comparative History of Black Ideologies in the United States and South Africa (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1995) ("Other than use of the same word to describe the process that was occurring, what did legislation to require separate public facilities in the American South have in common with the kind of separation proposed by the South African Native Affairs Commission and mandated by the Natives' Land Act? . . ." "One might think of Jim Crow as the effort to maintain caste distinctions between racially defined groups that lived in close physical proximity, shared elements of a common American culture, and often competed for the same work. The pressure to extend and codify a preexisting pattern of customary social separation arose in the first instance from the desire of whites to draw a color line in facilities--moving and stationary--where the races would scarcely have been congregating and jostling each other if the South had not been in the throes of urban and industrial modernization. But there would have been no need for new laws if African-Americans had not been making rapid gains in education, economic efficiency, and political-legal sophistication--advances that made many of them unwilling to defer to informal or extralegal means of denying them equal access to public amenities. As southern blacks migrated to the North in increasing numbers between 1890 and 1914 and en masse after 1914, the question of whether Jim Crow would follow them across the Mason-Dixon line became a live issue; for white opposition to 'social equality,' while most intense in the South, was scarcely limited to that region." "Native Segregation was a scheme intended to perpetuate the state of vulnerability and exploitability in which African societies found themselves after a European military conquest that, for many of them, had only recently taken place. Outside of a tiny Westernized elite, most Africans remained rooted in traditional cultures and communities. But increasing numbers were present in the developing, white-dominated areas as migrant workers. The danger, as conceived by white supremacists, was that they would find permanent homes there, become detribalized, and imbibe dangerous Western notions of democratic rights that would lead to a new kind of threat to white rule. In other words, they would become very much like African-Americans. Native segregation can therefore be viewed as a preemptive strike against the more competitive and disorderly pattern of race relations that existed in the United States and to which the Jim Crow laws were a response. . . ." "A good way to understand how South African and southern segregation could be so close in spirit and ideology and so different in method and procedure is to view the former as a kind of macro-segregation that was meant to make the micro-segregation of the Jim Crow South unnecessary. (The coming of micro-segregation, or 'petty apartheid,' laws to the South Africa after 1948 reflected in part the failure of the original segregation scheme to arrest or control the movement ob blacks to the white urban areas and the growth of a substantial 'modernized' segment of the black population that demanded inclusion in a common democratic society.) Of course the underlying fact that black South Africans would be a majority in a unified and color-blind South African polity, while African-Americans were a minority even in the southern states, gave to South African white supremacists a sense of urgency and concern about their own future dominance or even survival that North American racists, except perhaps in the 'black belts' of the Deep South, could rarely match." Id. at 103-104.)

Fredrickson, George M., White Supremacy: A Comparative Study in American and South African History (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1981) ("The phrase 'white supremacy' applies with particular force to the historical experience of two nations--South Africa and the United States. As generally understood, white supremacy refers to the attitudes, ideologies, and policies associated with the rise of blatant forms of white or European dominance over 'nonwhite' populations. In other words, it involves making invidious distinctions of a socially crucial kind that are based primarily , if not exclusively, on physical characteristics and ancestry. In its fully developed form, white supremacy means 'color bars,' 'racial segregation,' and the restriction of meaningful citizenship rights to a privileged group characterized by its light pigmentation. Few if any societies that are 'multi-racial' in the sense that they include substantial diversities of physical types among their populations have been free from racial prejudice and discrimination. But white supremacy implies more than this. It suggests systematic and self-conscious efforts to make race or color a qualification for membership in the civil community. More than the other multi-racial societies resulting from the 'expansion of Europe' that took place between the sixteenth century and the twentieth, South Africa and the United States (most obviously the southern United States during the era of slavery and segregation) have manifested over long periods of time a tendency to push the principle of differentiation by race to its logical outcome--a kind of Herrenvolk society in which people of color, however numerous or acculturated they may be, are treated as permanent aliens or outsiders." Id. at xi-xii. "In neither society were white settlers or sectionalists who agitated and fought for freedom from what they regarded as alien or external rule inclined to extend the kind of liberty they demanded for themselves to the nonwhites over whom they ruled as slave-owners or conquerors. Sometimes--as in the analogous cases of the Great Trek and southern secession--the cause of white freedom and independence was directly linked with a desire to maintain flagrant forms of racial hegemony. As a general rule, it was the metropolitan or central government that was most likely to be influenced, at least in theory, by a liberal or 'modern' conception of a uniform citizenship that denied the legitimacy of ascriptive racial disqualifications. Hence the sectional or ethnic struggles that impeded the course of political consolidation and centralization provoked debates on the legal and political foundations of black-white relations. It was the British who introduced the concept of 'equality under the law' into South Africa and sought to impose it on Afrikaners, some of whom found it so alien and intolerable that they emigrated into the wilderness rather than accept it. In the United States, the Republican Party of the 1850s and 60s served as the principal agency for promulgating a concept of individual rights that outlawed slavery and ultimately denied the legitimacy of legalized racial discrimination. When the Republicans won control of the federal government in 1860, the South saw itself as slipping irreversibly into a state of quasi-political dependence on a northern 'metropole' that had come to embrace liberal-nationalistist principles. To avert the danger to its way of life that such dependence entailed, the South adopted the desperate expedient of secession." "Yet the individuals and groups working for the consolidation or unification of disparate sections or white population groups in the nineteenth century--whether they marched under the banner of British imperialism or American Unionism--usually had what they considered to be higher priorities than the achievement of racial justice. With a few exceptions, their own commitments to inter-racial equality were equivocal or unstable, and their basic attitudes toward nonwhites ranged from a kind of liberal paternalism to blatant racism. Their motives for resisting slaveholder or white-settler autonomy were therefore more complex and less purely humanitarian than may appear on the surface. . . ." Id. at 138-139.).

Gilbert, Martin, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press, 2010) (see comments on Achcar's book above).

Granta, Food: The Vital Stuff (London & New York: Granta 52, Winter 1995) ("One of the most bitter, unremitting and unremarked social struggles in European history, stretching from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century, was over the right to hunt, over access to game. When warlords took possession of great tracts or land and became landlords, they took over the wildlife as well, and defined as criminals those commonfolk who continued to treat wildlife (which of course knew no boundaries) as common resources. Robin Hood may have been a proto-insurrectionary preying on the rich in the name of the poor, but at a more mundane level he was a poacher who challenged the claim of the Crown to ownership of the deer of the forests. European legend is full of stories of poacher heroes, just as the records of European law courts are full of draconian sentences for poaching. What these record memorialize is generation after generation of class warfare over access to meat." "Africa is the last continent where poaching goes on on a grand scale. No longer is it the king's game--'royal game'-- that is being poached. Instead, tribespeople poach from the game parks, the refuge where those who have enough flesh for themselves hoard up the edible beasts of the savannah for motives that make no sense to the protein-hungry." J. M. . Coetzee, "Meat Country, 41, 51-52.).

Griswold, Eliza, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches From the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010) (see Linda Robinson, "Christians and Muslims, NYT Book Review, Sunday, 8/22/2010).

Harris, Ruth, Dreyfus: Politics, Emotion, and the Scandal of the Century (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010) (see Leo Damrosch, "At War With Itself," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 7/25/2010).

Hastings, Max, Winston’s War: Churchill. 1940-1945 (New York: Knopf, 2010) ("[T]he principal reality of subsequent military operations would be that the Russians did most of the dying necessary to undo Nazism, while the Western powers advanced at their own measured pace towards a long-delayed confrontation with the Wehrmacht." " For many years after 1945, the democracies found it gratifying to perceive the Second World War in Europe as a struggle for survival between themselves and Nazi tyranny. Yet the military outcome of the contest was overwhelmingly decided by the forces of Soviet tyranny, rather than by Anglo-American armies. Perversely, this reality was better understood by contemporary Americans and British than it has been by many of their descendants." Id. at 146. "The Western Allies never become responsible for the defeat of Germany's main armies. They merely assisted the Russians to accomplish this. For all the enthusiasm of George Marshall and his colleagues to invade Europe, it remains impossible to believe that the United States would have been any more willing than was Britain to accept millions of casualties to fulfil the attritional role of the Red Army at Stalingrad, Kursk, and in a hundred lesser bloodbaths between 1942 and 1945. The U.S. Army never attained a strength that would have enabled it to meet the main strength of the Wehrmacht in France or anywhere else, irrespective of the date chosen for D-Day. Roosevelt and Churchill enjoyed the satisfaction of occupying higher moral ground than Stalin. At Casablanca, they decided Anglo-American strategy. However, historian who claim that the president and prime minister 'charted the course to victory' use grossly inflationary phrases. Stalin and his commanders did that." Id. at 293. "It is a gross abuse of language to identify area bombing as a 'war crime,' as do some modern critics. The policy was designed to hasten the defeat of Germany by destroying its industrial base, not wantonly to slaughter innocents. Yet it remains a blot on the Allied conduct of the war that city attacks were allowed to continue into 1945, when huge forces of aircraft employed sophisticated technology against negligible defences, and German industrial output could no longer much influence outcomes. Both the operational necessity to attack cities--because the RAF was incapable of nothing else--and the strategic purpose of such operations were gone. Yet the assault was maintained because, until Churchill's belated intervention, nobody thought to tell the air forces to stop, or rather to restrict themselves to residual military targets." "Here was a classic example of technological determinism. The weapons existed, and thus they continued to be used. . . . " Id. at 455. "Churchill's view of the British Empire and its peoples was unenlightened . . . even by the standards of his time. . . . He excluded brown and black peoples form his personal vision of freedom. Yet almost all of us are discriminatory, not necessarily racially, in the manner and degree in which we focus our finite stores of compassion. . . ." Id. at 482-483. Also see Geoffrey Wheatcroft, "About Face," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 5/2/2010. "Like those other writers, only more so, Hastings hammers certain themes relentlessly, none of them comfortable for those of us who grew up with nourishing national myths." Id.).

Heard, Alex, The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South (New York: Harper, 2010) ("The wartime dip in Southern lynchings ended in 1946, a year that saw a new outbreak of violence, much of it directed at returning black soldiers." "Some of these cases became famous, including the February 1946 beating and blinding of Sergeant Isaac Woodard Jr., a twenty-seven-year-old veteran of the Pacific theater, on his way home from military service, who was arrested in Batesburg, South Carolina, after a disturbance on a Greyhound bus. During a stop about an hour north of Atlanta, Woodard asked the bus's white driver if he had time to run inside and use the restroom. The driver said no and cursed him; Woodard cursed him back, and the driver told him to go ahead but make it fast. At the next stop, Batesburg, the driver contacted the police and told them Woodard was drunk and disorderly. He was taken off the bus by Police Chief Lynwood Shull, clubbed, and hauled into jail, where he was punched in the eyes with the end of a billy club. By the next morning, he'd permanently lost his eyesight." Id. at 74-75. Also see Tara McKelvey, "Where Hatred Rule," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 8/29/2010).

Julius, Anthony, Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2010) ("Anthony Julius has written a strong, somber book on an appalling subject: the long squalor of Jew-hatred in a supposedly enlightened, humane, liberal society. My first, personal, reflection is to give thanks that my own father, who migrated from Odessa, Russia, to London, had the sense, after sojourning there, to continue on to New York City." Harold Bloom, "The Jewish Question: British Anti-Semitism," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 5/9/2010. Harold Bloom's "first, personal, reflection" notwithstanding, bad as England may have been--and may still be--Americans are hardly in a position to cast the first stone here.).

Kolloen, Ingar Sletten, Knut Hamsun: Dreamer and Dissenter translated from the Norwegian by Deborah Dawkin & Erik Skuggevik (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press, 2005, 2009) ("Hamsun had never been a supporter of democracy. The writer craved a dictator. Power was not to be shared." Id. at 238.).

Longerich, Peter, Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews (Oxford & New York: Oxford U. Press, 2010) ("Finally the police apparatus took systematic action against the so-called 'Rhineland Bastards', those young people who were the product of relations between German women and colonial soldiers from the time of the French occupation of the Rhineland. As early as 1935 the Specialist Advisory Board for Population and Race Policy agreed to 'solve' this 'bastard question' by means of sterilization, although they were initially unable to reach agreement upon the procedure. Early in 1937 the decision was redrafted so that Afro-Germans were to be compulsorily sterilized outside the existing legal procedure, a relevant 'special instruction' from Hitler seems to have been produced. Accordingly, in the spring of 1937 a special commission was set up which, over the coming months and with the assistance of three sub-commissions, performed the sterilization of some 600-800 young people." Id. at 93. From the book's jacket: "Long recognized as the standard account of the Holocaust, this monumental work is now available in English for the first time." "Peter Longerich uses an unrivaled range of sources to show the steps taken by the Nazis that would ultimately lead to the Final Solution. He argues that anti-Semitism was not a mere by-product of Nazi political mobilization or an attempt to deflect the attention of the masses. Rather, from 1933 onwards, anti-Jewish policy was a central tenet of the Nazi movement's attempt to implement, disseminate, and secure National Socialist rule. At the same time, by following the decision-making process throughout the period of Nazi rule, the book shows how Nazi anti-Semitic policies continued to evolve right to the end of the war, and how these various decisions affected the lives of hundreds, thousands, and ultimately millions of people.").

McCurry, Stephanie, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London, England, 2010) ("Something stunning--epic even--transpired in the American South between 1860 and 1865. Then, in a gamble of world historical proportions, a class of slaveholders, flush with power, set out to build an independent proslavery nation but instead brought down the single most powerful slave regime in the Western world and propelled the emergence of a new American republic that redefined the very possibilities of democracy at home and abroad. In the process, too, they provided precisely the transformation of their own political culture they had hoped to avoid by succession, bringing int the making of history those people--the South's massive unfranchised population of white women and slaves--whose political disposition they intended to render permanent. The story of the Confederacy is a story of intentions, reversals, undoing, and unlikely characters that form an arc of history rarely matched for dramatic interest and historical justice." "The short-lived Confederate States of America was a signal event in the history of the Western world. What secessionists set out to build was something entirely new in the history of nations: a modern proslavery and antidemocracy state, dedicated to the proposition that all men were not created equal. Confederates were fully caught up in the turbulent currents of history that roiled the hemisphere in the age of emancipation; their proslavery experiment was part of a far larger struggle then being waged over slavery, democracy, and the powers of nation-states. Theirs was a nation founded in defiance of the spirit of the age. Emboldened by the 'failure' of emancipation in other parts of the hemisphere, convinced that the American vision of 'the people' had been terribly betrayed, Southern slaveholders sought to kind of future for human slavery and republican government no longer possible with the original Union. Theirs was to be a republic perfectly suited to them as slaveholding people, a republic of white men, defined by slavery and the political exclusion of the mass of the Southern people." Id. at 1-2. This is a wonderful read for those who think knowing American history is pertinent to a proper understanding of contemporary issues surrounding the nature of democracy and citizenship.).

Pennybackeer, Susan D., From Scottsboro to Munich: Race and Political Culture in 1930s Britain (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2009) ("A skeletal railroad crossing at Paint Rock, Alabama, in the mountainous terrain near Scottsboro is the unlikely starting point for a journey into the political culture of imperial Britain in the 1930s--a journey that continues across the English Channel to the plains north of the Bavarian Alps and Munich. The metropolitan British and German rail centers dwarfed the sparse Alabama settlement that was too small to have a courthouse; those picked up in Paint Rock on suspicion of foul play had to be carried in flatbed trucks to the county seat. How did 'race' figure in the 1930s? This history of the decade is comprised of unanticipated travel, unjust trials, and tangled and raged networks of people living in dark times. The nine your defendants in the Scottsboro rape case were arrested in March of 1931, and Munich was the scene of the conference in September 1938, at which representatives of the British and French governments, with fascist Italy's assistance, attempted to appease Adolf Hitler's drive for war, sacrificing peoples and lands in the balance. The path of many of those who responded to these events crossed in Britain, where London served as an unofficial center of colonial and antifascist exile. The imperial capital on its rain-swept islands--between the European continent, the ports of the Caribbean, and the North American seaboard--remained the seat of a parliamentary democracy that continued to allow entry to some people in flight. Britain was the final and first stop for many coming and going across oceans and seas, This story unfolds in the interconnections of activists lives, and is about the ideas and purposes to which those lives were dedicated." Id. at 1. "Each chapter that follows pursues a figure who appeared in the international Scottsboro campaign--Ada Wright, George Padmore, Shapurji Saklatvala, Willi Munzenberg, and Lady [Kathleen Manning] Simon. . . . Knowledge of the lives and perceptions of these actors contributes to a new understanding of what transatlantic and imperial racial politics looked like to the man and woman of conscience and even to the more casual observer in the thirties. These individuals acted as lighting rods for antiracism in an era whose written history often does not admit them as full players or acknowledge their mutual connections. Their awkward presences upset historical convention and pose some little-asked questions of the decade that spanned the distance between the outbreak of the Scottsboro case ad the disruption and sacrifice of lives that lay in the aftermath of the Munich agreements, London sat uncomfortably poised between Jim Crow and the Third Reich. What did it mean to be an antiracist at this time? What did it mean to oppose empire or fascism, or both, on ground of racial inhumanity and racial injustice, or to articulate a vision of an interracial world culture?" Id. at 4-5.).

Philipponnat, Olivier, & Patrick Lienhardt, The Life of Irene Nemirovsky, 1903-1942 translated from the French by Euan Cameron (New York & Toronto: Knopf, 2010) ("In order to balance the disproportionate pyramid of ages brought about by the war, a law had been introduced on 10th August 1927 that dealt a blow to the sacrosanct 'right of blood' and made it easier to acquire French nationality. On 30th September 1935, four months after Michel had put in his request, Denise became the first member of the family to acquire French nationality by law. This was not a mere whim of fate, but the result of a basic trend caused by the flood of refugees coming from Germany that had taken the immigration authorities by surprise. Since 1931, more than ten thousand foreigners were given French citizenship every year. Russian Jews who have lived in French soil since the end of the war, and whom the USSR did not want, suddenly felt the need to make official the private sense they had that they had become French, for fear of being compared to the rejected victims of Nazi anti-Semitism and being looked upon suspiciously by those influenced by opinions cultivated by the nationalist press. In the Revue des Deux Mondes, in April 1934, Rene Pinon demanded that a term be put on the 'outrageous naturalisation which mostly Jews were benefiting from.' On the 16th February 1935, Lucien Rebatet, in Je suis partout, put the finishing touches to his major anti-assimilationist investigation, entitled: 'Foreigners in France: The Invasion.' Blacks, Orientals, Armenians, North Africans are here referred to as 'excrement.' 'Should we tolerate becoming alloyed with this corrupt Oriental blood, diluted by indecipherable mixtures, and by long periods of slaughter, oppression and psychological torment? There is no need to be 'racist' to be alarmed.' As for Russian Jews, Rebatet refused to include them among the Slavs. For, he regretted, 'among the 26,000 naturalised Russians, a huge majority of them are Jewish.' A supporter of selective immigration, Rebatet, great music lover that he was, naturally agreed to make an exception with Horowitz--born in Kiev in 1903--and other 'excellent Jewish virtuosos.' But let us be fair: even in Marianne, Emmanuel Berl, who supported a firmer immigration policy, was, not opposed to a selective sifting, which he summed up with the phrase: 'There is Stavisky, but there is Stravinsky.' And there as Nemirovsky, a literary virtuoso, who was not mentioned by either Berl or Rebatet, But it was in this context that we must consider her decision to apply for French approval, and understand the sudden disappearance of all Russian touches from her her work." Id. at 237-238.).

Plomer, William, Turbott Wolfe: A Novel, with an introduction by Nadine Gordimer (New York: Modern Library, 2003) (From the backcover: "'It is an inexplicable lapse on the part of literary scholars and critics,' writes Nadine Gordimer in her introduction, 'that Turbott Wolfe is not recognized as a pyrotechnic presence in the canon of renegade colonist literature along with Conrad.' Indeed, William Plomer's astonishing first novel, which first appeared in 1926, ignited a firestorm of controversy in his native South Africa. At the novel's center is Turbott Wolfe, a British trader who opens a general store in Lembuland. He befriends many of his black customers but has less luck ingratiating himself with the bigoted whites who have lived in the area for generations. Eventually, Wolfe and his comrades embrace miscegenation as the key to Africa's future--the Young Africa, where the races have blurred. Provocative and deeply questioning, Turbott Wolfe remains a powerful chronicle of the intimate human consequences of racism.")

Saint-Exupery, Antoine de, Wind, Sand and Stars translated from the French by Lewis Galantiere (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968) ("Truth, for any man, is that which makes him a man. . . ." "If our purpose is to understand mankind and its yearnings, to grasp the essential reality of mankind, we must never set one man's truth against another's. All beliefs are demonstrably true. All men are demonstrably in the right. Anything can be demonstrated by logic. I say that that man is right who blames all the ills of the world upon hunchbacks. Let us declare war on hunchbacks--and in the twinkling of an eye all of us will hate them fanatically. All of us will join to avenge the crimes of the hunchbacks. Assuredly, hunchbacks, too, do commit crimes." "But if we are to succeed in grasping what is essential in man, we must put aside the passions that divide us and that, once they are accepted, sow in the wind a whole Koran of unassailable verities and fanaticisms. Nothing is easier than to divide men into rightists an leftists, hunchbacks and straightbacks, fascists and democrats--and these distinctions will be perfectly just. But truth, we know, is that which clarifies, not that which confuses. Truth is the language that expresses universality. Newton did not 'discover' a law that lay hidden from man like the answer to a rebus. He accomplished a creative operation. He founded a human speech which could express at one and the same time the fall of an apple and the rising of the sun. Truth is not that which is demonstrable but that which is ineluctable." ". . . What all of us want is to be set free. . . ." Id. at 217-218. ).

Schneer, Jonathan, The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (New York: Random House, 2010) (In his review, Tom Segev ends with the following paragraph: "The Balfour declaration thus finds its place among a multitude of fruitless schemes and indulgent fantasies, except, of course, that in this case, surprisingly, the British by and large kept their word. For at least two decades they allowed the Zionist movement to bring immigrants into Palestine, and these new arrivals set up hundreds of settlements including several towns, as well as the political, economic, military and cultural infrastructure of the future state of Israel. But if Israel's existence originated with the British, so did the Palestinians' tragedy. The Balfour declaration was only the opening chapter of a still unfinished story." Tom Segev, "View With Favor," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 8/22/2010.).

Senelick, Laurence, ed., The American Stage: Writing on Theater from Washington Irving to Tony Kushner (New York: Library of America, 2010) (From David Mamet, "The Problem Play," reprinted here at 807-812: "Western European romance gave us Hitler, the novels of Trollope, and the American musical. In each the sometimes hidden but always emerging excellence of the hero wins over all. These drama may be diverting but they are false, and have a cumulatively debilitating effect." "We live in an extraordinarily debauched, interesting, savage world, where things really don't come out even. The purpose of true drama is to help remind us of that. Perhaps this does have an accidental, a cumulative effect--to remind us to be a little more humble or a little more grateful or a little more ruminative." "Stanislavsky says there are two kinds of plays. There are plays that you leave, and you say to yourself, 'By God, I just, I never, gosh, I want to, now I understand! What a masterpiece! Let's get a cup of coffee,' and by the time you get home, you can't remember the name of the play, you can't remember what the play was about." "And there are plays--and books and songs ad poems and dances--that are perhaps upsetting or intricate or unusual, that you leave unsure, but which you think about perhaps the next day, and perhaps for a week, and perhaps for the rest of your life." "Because they aren't clean, they aren't neat, but there's something in them that comes from the heart, and, so, goes to the heart." [] "Tragedy is a celebration not o f eventual triumph but of the truth--it is not a victory but a resignation. Much of its calmative power comes, again, from that operation described by Shakespeare: when remedy is exhausted, so is grief." Id. at 811-812.).

Siry, Joseph M., The Chicago Auditorium Building: Adler and Sullivan's Architecture and the City (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 2002) ("In 1854, 35,857 of Chicago's 65,872 residents (about 54 percent) were foreign born, and the percentage increased steadily through the nineteenth century. The largest ethnic minority was German. From 1846 to 1855 more than a million Germans immigrated to the United States. Immigration peaked in 1849 after the failed European revolution of 1848. By 1854 the nativist Know-Nothing movement had gathered national momentum and its effects generated Chicago's first full-scale rioting. Nonnaturalized immigrants who had not lived in Illinois in 1848 could not vote. Thus almost all local German immigrants were disfranchised. In March 1855 the Know-Nothings' American Party elected its candidate as mayor, and the entire city government was in the group's hands. Every applicant for a municipal position, including the new police force, was compelled to prove he had been born in the United States. The new nativist administration's agenda focused on a temperance crusade intended not 'to conserve the ends of public morality; but purely and simply to strike at the habits and customs of one class of foreigners--the Germans.' Accordingly, the city's liquor license fee was raised from fifty dollars to three hundred to drive out the small beer dealers who served the city's German community concentrated on the North side, where land was less expensive. The new nativist mayor selectively enforced laws on Sunday closing of alcohol-selling establishments, ordering police to close German beer gardens while saloons frequented by native-born Americans were untouched. The Germans organized, comparing such harassment to conditions of southern chattel slavery. In April 1855 a climatic clash between the police and armed German mobs storming across new bridges into the South Side left several dead, with scores temporarily imprisoned. Afterward the excesses of the Know-Nothings were locally repudiated, and they subsided the next year when Chicago's Germans joined the nascent antislavery Republican Party." Id. at 1-17.).

Smith, Lillian, Killers of the Dream (New York: Norton, 1949) ("I have sometimes thought that the rural people's fear of unions springs not alone from their fear of giving up their individualism, but from the fear that if one joins the union and becomes identified with 'labor,' one will surrender one's chance of becoming a 'gentleman' who will no longer work with his hands. Id. at 212. "A little crazy hypothesis was once thrown across a dark sky and left there. But no one could ever forget it. Religions were built by its light, poets' minds shone in its brightness, political systems used its warmth to draw men closer together, science cautiously examined it and 'proved it' to be the essence of sanity, the seed of human growth. It may be only a bedtime story that men for thousands of years have told themselves in their loneliness. It may be a lie, this sanctity of the human being, this importance of man the individual, this right of the child to grow, but when it is proved so, there will no longer be an earth to witness the lie's triumph and no men here to mourn the loss of their dream." Id. at 256.).

Snyder, Timothy, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (New York: Basic Books, 2010) ("In both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, utopias were advanced, compromised by reality, and then implemented as mass murder: in autumn 1932 by Stalin, and autumn 1941 by Hitler. Stalin's utopia was to collectivize the Soviet Union in none to twelve weeks; Hitler's was to conquer the Soviet Union in the same span of time. Each of these seems, in retrospect, to be horrendously impractical. Yet each of them was implemented, under the cover of a big lie, even after failure was obvious. Dead human beings provided retrospective arguments for the rectitude of policy. Hitler and Stalin thus shared a certain politics of tyranny: they brought about catastrophes, blamed the enemy of their choice, and then used the death of millions to make the case that their policies were necessary or desirable. Each of them had a transformative utopia, a group to be blamed when its realization proved impossible, and then a policy of mass murder that could be proclaimed as a kind of ersatz victory." Id. at 387-388. "Our contemporary culture of commemoration takes for granted that memory prevents murder. If people died in such large numbers, it is tempting to think, they must have died for something of transcendent value, which can be revealed, developed, and preserved in the right sort of political remembrance. The transcendent then turns out to be the national. The millions of victims must have died so that the Soviet Union could win a Great Patriotic War, or America a good war. Europe had to learn its pacifist lesson, Poland had to have its legend of freedom, Ukraine had to have its heroes, Belarus had to prove its virtue, Jews had to fulfill a Zionist destiny. Yet all of these later rationalizations, though they convey important truths about national politics and national psychologies, have little to do with memory as such. The dead are remembered, but the dead do not remember. Someone else had the power, and someone else decided how they died. Later on, someone else still decided why. When meaning is drawn from killing, the risk is that more killing would bring more meaning." "Here, perhaps, is a purpose for history, somewhere between the record of death and its constant reinterpretation. Only a history of mass killing can unite the numbers and the memories. Without history, the memories become private, which today means national; and the numbers becomes becomes public, which is to say an instrument in the intenational competiuon for martyrdom. Memory is mine and I have the right to do with it as I please; numbers are objective and you must accept my count whether you like them or not. Such reasonaing allows a nationalist to hug himself with one arm and strike his neighober with the other. After the end of the Second World War, and then again after the end of communism, nationalists throughout the bloodlands (and beyond) have indulged in the quantitative exaggeration of victimhood, thereby claiming for themselves the mantle of innocence." Id. at 401-402. From the book jacket: "Americans think of World War II as 'The Good War.' But before it even began, America's wartime ally Stalin had shot and starved millions of his own citizens, and continued to do so throughout the war. Though American soldiers liberated concentration camps, they never reached the death factories, killing fields, and starvation sites where Hitler and Stalin murdered civilians on a massive scale. In twelve years, in deliberate killing policies unrelated to combat, the Nazi and Soviet regimes killed fourteen million people in a zone of death between Berlin and Moscow. At war's end, the bloodlands fell behind the iron curtain, leaving their history in darkness." See the book review, "History and Its Woes: Mass Murder," The Economist, October 16th 2010, at 101-102.).

Strawson, Galen, Selves: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics (Oxford & New York: Clarendon Press/Oxford U. Press, 2009).

Sundquist, Eric J., To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature (Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England: Belknap/Harvard U. Press, 1993) (From the book jacket: "This powerful book argues that white culture in America does not exist apart from black culture. The revolution of the rights of man that established this country collided long ago with the system of slavery, and we have been trying to reestablish a steady course for ourselves ever since. To Wake the Nations is urgent and rousing: we have integrated our buses, schools, and factory, but not the canon of American literature. That is the task Eric Sundquist has assumed in a book that ranges from politics to literature, from Uncle Remus to African American spirituals. But the hallmark of this volume is a sweeping reevaluation of the glory years of American literature--from 1830-1930--that shows how white literature and black literature form a single interwoven tradition." "By examining African America's contested relation to the intellectual and literary forms of white culture, Sundquist reconstructs the main lines of American literary tradition from the decades before the Civil War through the early twentieth century. . . . These readings lead to insights into components of the culture at large; slavery as it intersected with postcolonial revolutionary ideology; literary representations of the legal and political foundations of segregation; and the transformation of elements of African and antebellum folk consciousness into the public form of American literature." It will be interesting, to say the least, and scary to see how the American literary tradition develops (or devolves) in the twenty-first century given the apparent resurgence of white nationalism, fascism, and authoritarianism to center stage in American values. The so-called 'real Americans,' I suppose, maintain a belief that America is (or should be) a white nation with a white culture. They are wrong. They are crazy. But wrongheaded and crazy people can and do gain control of governments, with disastrous consequences for the rest of us. Is American today the Germany of 1930?).

Swift, Daniel, Bomber County: The Poetry of a Lost Pilot's War (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010) (From the book jacket: "Structured around the narrative of the author's search--through military and civilian archives and in interviews conducted in the Netherlands, Germany, and England--for his lost grandfather, Bomber County is also an examination of the relationship between the bombing campaigns of the Second World War and poetry, an investigation into the experience of bombing and being bombed, and a powerful reckoning with the morals and literature of a vanished moment.").

Telushkin, Joseph, Hillel: If Not Now, When? (Jewish Encounters) (New York: Nextbook/ Schoken, 2010) ("There was [an] incident involving a Gentile who came before Shammai and said to him: 'Convert me to Judaism on condition that you will teach me the entire Torah while I stand on one foot.' Shammai pushed the man away with the building rod he was holding. Undeterred, the man then came before Hillel with the same request. Hillel said to him, 'That which is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor. This is the whole Torah, all the rest is commentary. Now go and study' (Shabbat 31a)." Id. at 18.).

Todorov, Tzvetan, The Fear of Barbarians: Beyond the Clash of Civilizations, translated from the French by Andrew Brown (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 2010) ("The third group of countries is distinguished by the place occupied in them by the feeling of fear. These are countries that make up the West and that have dominated the world for several centuries. . . . Western, and in particular European, countries fear the economic power of the 'countries of appetite', their ability to produce goods more cheaply and thus make a clean sweep of the markets--in short, they are afraid of being dominated economically. And they fear the physically threats that might come from the 'countries of resentment', the terrorist attacks and explosions of violence--and, in addition, the measures of retaliation these countries might be capable of when it comes to energy supplies, since the biggest oil reserves are found in these countries." Id. at 5. "Fear becomes a danger for those who experience it, and this is why it must not be allowed to play the role of dominant passion. It is even the main justification for behavior often described as 'inhuman'. The fear of death that menaces me or, even worse, menaces those who are dear to me, makes me capable of killing, mutilating and torturing. . . . When you ask South African policemen and soldiers why, under apartheid, they killed or inflicted unspeakable suffering, they reply: to protect ourselves from the menace to our community posed by the blacks (and the Communists). 'We did not enjoy doing this, we did not want to do this, but we had to stop them from killing innocent women and children.' But once you have agreed to kill, you also consent to the next steps: you torture (to obtain information about 'terrorists'), you mutilate bodies (to disguise murders as attempted muggings or accidental explosions): all means are good when victory is the aim--and fear needs to be eliminated." "The fear of barbarians is what risks making us barbarians. And we will commit a worse evil than that which we initially feared. History teaches us this lesson: the cure can be worse than the disease. Totalitarian regimes presented themselves as a means for curing bourgeois society of its failings; they created a more dangerous world than the one they were fighting against. . . . " Id. at 6-7. "Being closed in on oneself is the complete opposite of being open to others. Thinking that yours is the only properly human group, refusing to acknowledge anything outside your own existence, offering nothing to others and deliberately remaining shut away within your original milieu is a sign of barbarism; recognizing the plurality of groups, of human societies and cultures, and putting yourself on an equal footing with others is part of civilization. This progressive extension is not be be confused with xenophilia, or a systematic preference for strangers; not with some vague cult of 'difference' as such--it simply indicates the greater or lessor ability to recognize our common humanity." Id. at 22-23.).

Waal, Frans de, Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals (Cambridge. Massachusetts, & London, England: Harvard U. Press, 1996) ("In biology, the very same principle of natural selection that mercilessly plays off life forms and individuals against one another has led to symbiosis and mutualism among different organisms, to sensitivity of one individual to the needs of another, and to joint action toward a common goal. We are facing the profound paradox that genetic self-advancement at the expense of others--which is the basic thrust of evolution--has given rise to remarkable capacities for caring and sympathy. . . ." "Instead of human nature[] being either fundamentally brutish or fundamentally noble, it is both--a complex picture perhaps, but an infinitely more inspiring one." Id. at 5.).

Waal, Frans de, Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved edited and introduced by Stephen Macedo and Josiah Ober; comments by Philip Kitcher, Christine M. Korsgaard, Peter Singer, & Robert Wright (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2006).

Watson, Bruce, Freedom Summer: The Savage Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy (New York: Viking, 2010) (See Dwight Garner, "Mississippi Invaded by Idealism, NYT, Monday, 7/19/2010.).

Watson. Peter, The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, The Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century (New York: Harper, 2010) ("We are used to being told that the twentieth century was the American century, but the truth is more complex and, as this book aims to show, more interesting than that. This book's intent is to reinsert into the non-German-speaking consciousness and the German-speaking consciousness the names and achievements of a people who, for historical reasons having to do with war and genocide, have been neglected--even shunned--over the past half century." "This then is a book about the German genius, how it was born and flourished and shaped our lives more than we know, or care to acknowledge, how it was devastated by Hitler but--another 'but' that is crucial--how it has lived on, often unrecognized, not just in two postwar Germanies, which have never received full credit for their achievements--cultural, scientific, industrial, commercial, academic--but in how German thinking shaped modern American and Britain and their culture. The United States and Great Britain may speak English but, more than they know, they think German." Id. at 36-37. "Germany should not wish, or seek, to leave its past behind. But embracing this view . . . Germans do not need to remain chained to their past forever. All Germans . . . are not 'umbilically linked' to Hitler. The German past consists of much more than the events of the Third Reich and, as this book has tried to show, still has a lot to teach us." "The German predicament is not easy and the arguments in this book will not please everyone. It is to those who find it difficult to move beyond Hitler that The German Genius is dedicated." Id. at 849. Also see Brian Ladd, "Made In Germany," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 7/18/2010.).

White, Shane, Stephen Garton, Stephen Robertson & Graham White, Playing the Numbers: Gambling in Harlem Between the Wars (Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London, England: Harvard U. Press, 2010) ("For all its glaring inefficiencies and shortcomings as a way of financing black business, the activities of the numbers bankers performed an essential capital-raising role in the effectively, if not legally, segregated world of northern cities. They did something that no one else had the slightest interest in doing. According to a historian of black business, 'Access to black policy dollars provided black communities with a privately funded, informal cash subsidy, which was used as venture capital in the promotion and support of black business.' Indeed, 'without these funds the picture of black business in the first half of the twentieth century would be been more dismal than the historical record shows.' " Id. at 215-216 (citing Juliet E. K. Walker, The History of Black Business in America (New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1998), 238.).

Wilkerson, Isabel, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (New York: Random House, 2010) ("A central argument of this book has been that the Great Migration was an unrecognized immigration within this country. The participants bore the marks of immigrant behavior. They plotted a course to places in the North and West that had some connection to their homes of origin. They created colonies of the villages they came from, imported the food and folkways of the Old Country, and built their lives around the people and churches they knew from back home. They took work the people already there considered beneath them. They doubled up and took in roomers to make ends meet. They tried to instill in their children the values of the Old Country while pressing them to succeed by the standards of the New World they were in." Id. at 536. Also see Dvid Oshinsky, "Freedom Trains," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 9/5/2010; and Janet Maslin, "The Lives Gained By Fleeing Jim Crow," NYT, Tuesday, 8/31/2010.).

Wistrich, Robert S., A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad (New York: Random House, 2010) (A chilling read. See Edward Rothstein, " A Hatred Thatt Resist Exorcism," NYT, Tuesday, 7/6/2010, "Mr. Wistrich offers less a history, though, than a contemporary indictment with historical background. This makes his book difficult to read. Its approach is one of cumulative examples culminating in jihadists and their apologists. Its rosterlike style can become tedious but the examples are powerfully dispiriting.").

Young, Julian, Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography *(Cambridge: U. of Cambridge Press, 2010).

Zimmerman, Andrew, Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2010) ("In January 1901 four African American men from Tuskegee Institute, the Alabama teacher-training school founded by Booker T. Washington, arrived in the German colony of Togo, West Africa, to help transform the territory into a source of cotton for the European spinning industry. Alabama in Africa reconstructs this expedition and its global consequences from the perspective of its American, African, and German participants. It explores the transnational economic, political, and ideological networks that connected Booker T. Washington's American South, the kaiser's Germany, and the colonial West Africa. The global collapse of unfree labor--both Atlantic slavery and European serfdom--profoundly affected each of these regions in the nineteenth century. The Atlantic transition to free labor unleashed new political and economic energies among former bondspeople, energies that employers and states endeavored to redirect for their own profit and power. " "Alabama in Africa reveals how early, tentative efforts by Booker T. Washington to transform the place of blacks in the American South gave way to his better-known 'accommodationism' as a result of his work with German imperialism in Africa. The pioneering interest of German colonial personnel in Tuskegee Institute, in turn helped make the American South of segregation and sharecropping a model for the supposedly humanitarian internationalism of the League of Nation. The model of the American South and individual African Americans, including Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois, also influenced the history of free labor inside the borders of Germany, shaping the development of the social sciences and the state social policies for which Germany has been so admired, as well as the treatment of Poles for which it has been so reviled. Alabama in Africa rejects empire-centered approaches to colonialism that regard Africans as raw clay for colonial sculpting, demonstrating rather that the history of Togolese self-fashioning in the aftermath of of Atlantic slavery structured and resisted the various attempts by missionaries, colonial states, and Tuskegee Institute to create an Africa after their own desires. . . . It suggests, finally, that racism and imperialism, as well as struggles of class, culture, gender and sexuality are as relevant as ever to understanding the essentially modern human drama, the struggle for political and economic freedom in a divided world." Id. at ix-x.).