Books

Books

It takes a village

When Knopf advertised Updike’s novel as “a Bildungsroman describing the education, romantic and otherwise, of Owen Mackenzie,” critics knew that the ending would be the crux of the literary proposal. Not that the “getting there” would be irrelevant. But the literary and moral value of the story would depend on where the journey ended.

CC recommends

In this cautionary “what if” political fable, Roth hypothesizes that in 1940 aviation hero Charles Lindbergh, an ardent isolationist who was sympathetic to Hitler, won the presidency. Reimagining his childhood—with considerable fact mixed in with the fiction—Roth narrates an alternative history that has an unsettling plausibility.

Hope in Bethlehem

The suffering of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation can be documented through broad statistics: the number of people killed and injured, the number of days under curfew, the number of demolished houses, uprooted trees and confiscated land.

CC recommends

Some might judge this collection of 280 portraits from the 100-year plus history of the National Geographic to be voyeuristic. The photos probably say as much about the editors, photographers—and subscribers—of the magazine as about the subjects themselves.

The Right Nation

A day before President George W. Bush delivered his acceptance speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, he appeared at an enthusiastic rally of 21,000 supporters in Columbus, Ohio. It was the kind of political event that would be unlikely to happen in the United Kingdom, Russia or France.