Unimpeachably unreadable

It is rare, in a conventional book review, for the reviewer to begin by describing her purchase of the book in question, but in this case it really is part of the story. For I bought My Life, Bill Clinton’s memoir, in the very early hours of the morning at a Washington bookshop which had …

Unimpeachably unreadable Read More »

Conjugal relations in Camelot

Conjugal relations in Camelot

A week after her husband’s assassination in November, 1963, Jackie Kennedy gave an interview to the writer Theodore White. Passionately declaring that she didn’t want John F. Kennedy immortalised by “bitter” journalists who didn’t appreciate him, she told White that she had come up with her own metaphor for his presidency. She had chosen it, …

Conjugal relations in Camelot Read More »

Poets Under Surveillance

Poets Under Surveillance

Without a doubt, Moscow Memoirs is an extraordinary book, one of those literary memoirs that comes along once a decade. Emma Gerstein, in her nineties when she published it, has shed completely new light on some of the most important poets and writers of the 20th century, providing previously unknown biographical details, some of which …

Poets Under Surveillance Read More »

A bear with a sore head

A bear with a sore head

Anyone who has lived for any length of time in Russia during the past decade will instantly understand why Andrew Meier wrote this book. Meier, who worked in Moscow for Time magazine from 1996 until 2001, probably spent most of his time there doing what most other reporters do: covering news, chasing the things that …

A bear with a sore head Read More »

The Mouths that Roared

The Mouths that Roared

To anyone who ever tried to understand why the political left has played such a large role in American intellectual life, or why the term “anti-communist” ever became an insult, or why so many allegedly clear-thinking people feared Joe McCarthy more than Josef Stalin, Ann Coulter’s new book will certainly prove thought-provoking.

Why the reds flagged

Why the reds flagged

Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Ceausescu, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Salvador Allende, Mengistu, Castro, Kim Il-sung: the list of murderous communist leaders is long, diverse and profoundly multicultural. Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Albania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, Angola, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Chile, …

Why the reds flagged Read More »

Speech Lessons: What Khrushchev’s famous “secret speech” can tell us about regime change.

Speech Lessons: What Khrushchev’s famous “secret speech” can tell us about regime change.

Because he has already been lauded for his extensive research and his psychological insight, I won’t heap further praise on William Taubman, author of a substantial new biography Khrushchev: the Man and His Era. Suffice it to say that he makes extensive use of newly opened archives, carefully parses the Cuban Missile Crisis, pays due …

Speech Lessons: What Khrushchev’s famous “secret speech” can tell us about regime change. Read More »

Reflections in the World’s Eye

Reflections in the World’s Eye

Because no review of Being America can avoid recounting the biography of the book’s author, this one will dispense with the task right at the beginning. Jedediah Purdy is the child of hippie parents who dropped out and moved to West Virginia.

Scroll to Top