Thursday, September 18, 2014 Elul 23, 5774
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In its earliest incarnation, The New Yorker was determinedly White Anglo Saxon Protestant in intent as well as content. This was at least true until the death in 1951 of the magazine's legendary founding editor, Harold Ross; at that point, William Shawn, who would himself become a legendary figure, took over as editor in chief, and the magazine expanded to...
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When The Collected Poems of Stanley Kunitz appeared five years ago, I wrote that the central moment in the poet's life - as well as in the deeply textured universe he's created during his nearly 70-year career - was his father's suicide. And perhaps his most famous crystallization of that tragic and seminal event - and the terrible ramifications it...
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Some reviewers are just better suited than others for certain assignments. I've read a wide range of reviews of American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherman, the first full-scale biography of famed scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer. These assessments, published in prominent media outlets, have been pure distillations or unblemished reflections of the book itself, which is a worshipful...
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If you're in the mood for a treatise on the fine art of acting, with frequent asides about the history of the Actors Studio and revelations about the secrets behind Method acting, steer clear of Eli Wallach's new memoir, The Good, the Bad, and Me, just out from Harcourt. But if you're in the mood for a breezy, entertaining chronicle...
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Be Careful What You Wish For: In the end, it may not prove to be enough
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My Life in the Middle Ages, critic James Atlas’ new memoir, is the most frustrating book I’ve read recently — though I stayed with it till the bitter end. There were times when I wanted to toss it aside in anger or bewilderment; still, I stuck it out. I kept at it is because the book speaks to me and...
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