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Wednesday, July 18, 2018
books
In seeing the world in all its delicate beauty and overwhelming roughness, Christoph Ransmayr’s Atlas of an Anxious Man finds a language for mapping the intricacies of the human heartWe travel to discover the world; we peer at places and people through the display of a smartphone – only most of the time, we fail to see. Author Christoph...
holy roman empire
Peter H. Wilson asks us to reimagine the premodern world in The Holy Roman Empire It was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire – or so we learned in school. Voltaire’s deprecating but irresistible quip was aimed with scornful élan at what we today term a failed state. Its sentiment, shared by Hegel and James Madison, rests upon the...
rigor mortis
Richard Harris’ book Rigor Mortis inspires scientific soul-searching.Let’s start out addressing the elephant in the room: There are a lot of scientific studies that are just not reproducible, period. It’s not about one lab, or one theory, or one field.Everyone in science is affected by what has been called the “reproducibility crisis.” Drug development is slowing down. Major initiatives...
book review paul lendvai orban
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Military Diplomacy
Tim Hadley details just how much the German General Staff knew about the weaknesses of the Austrian-Hungarian armyUntil German unification in 1871, Austria-Hungary and the German states had been in near-constant conflict. Hopes for a “Greater German Solution” with a Habsburg-dominated Central Europe ended in 1866, with the Austrians suffering a crushing defeat that led to a new constitution...
Eric Weiner
Eric Weiner traces how time, place, background and clutter figure into the settings where genius is born.What happens when former National Public Radio correspondent and journalist Eric Weiner sets out to determine how and where genius develops? The answer is surprising and told compellingly in The Geography of Genius.As Weiner notes, “Today, we suffer from a serious case of...
Asperger
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books
Two centuries of scandal, intrigue and dancing in Russia are masterfully handled in Simon Morrison’s Bolshoi ConfidentialIn 2013, the headlines about the Bolshoi Ballet were less about the perfect execution of athletic feats and more concerned with a vicious acid attack on its artistic director Sergei Filin. The world gasped in shock and struggled to reconcile the barbarous action...
The Vanquished
In The Vanquished, Robert Gerwarth attempts a more nuanced look at WW1 and why the carnage didn’t end in 1918.On September 11, 1919, Gabriele D’Annunzio, one of the most brilliant Italian poets of his day and a decorated war hero, drove to Fiume in a bright red Fiat. Leading an army of 2,000 irregulars, formed ad hoc, he set...
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