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.

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.

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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.

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Neiman’s stunning history of modern philosophy is now out in paperback. She explains what Leibnitz, Rousseau, Kant and Hegel were really up to: they were trying to figure out why bad things happen.