Ehirim Files Mind Power from the University Presses and other Publications

The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With The President By Taylor Branch, Simon Schuster, New York: 707pp; $35.00

"Taylor Branch admires Clinton within reason, but when there are two sides to an argument he is apt to see things from Clinton's point of view. He conveys well the vituperative rage of the Republicsns at Clinton's theft of their 'small is better' programs and the anti-government rhetoric that had been their sole argument alive resource. The climatic episode here was the repeal of much of the welfare system and substitution of work requirements; a decision on which Branch comments too briefly.'"

-------David Bromwich, The New York Review of Books

Booker T. Washington: Black Leadership in the age of Jim Crow by Raymond W. Smock, Ivan R. Dee/Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group

"The co-editor of the Booker T. Washington Papers reconsiders the man who rose from slavery to a position of power and influence that no black leader had achieved in American history. Mr Smock sees him as a field general in a war of racial survival, his 'compromise' a practical attempt to solve an immense problem. 'A masterwork of concision and compacted power.'"

-------Donald L. Miller, Library of African American Biography.

Boxing: A Cultural History by Kasia Boddy, The University of Chicago Press; 492pp, $29.95

"At nearly five hundred densely packed pages...boxing would seem to include everything that has ever been written, dipicted or in any way recorded about boxing... As Kasia Boddy's masterwork of bricolage sweeps on, there comes to be something wonderfully Joycean -- oceanic, indefatigable, slightly deranged -- in the very quantity of data she has amassed. To read Boddy's book is to confront dozens -- hundreds? -- of inspired mini-essays."

-------Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books.

Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting by John Maxwell Hamilton; Louisiana State University Press, $45.00

"Hamilton, a former fereign correspondent and public servant who is currently dean at Louisiana State University's Manship School Mass Commubnication, spurns plodding narrative in favor of an intelligent tour, full of unexpected pleasures and plums. Where else might we stumble across a reporter's account of the Battle of New Orleans? Or the Senior James Gordon Bennett's sharp-edged view of the coronation of Queen Victoria?"

-------James Boylan, Founding Editor of the Columbia Journalism Review and Professor Emeritus of Journalism and History at the University of Massachusetts, Armherst.

The Maudlin Impression: English Literary Images of Mary Magdalene, 1550-1700; by Patricia Badir, University of Notre Dame Press, 320ppm $40.00

"[Badir's] fascinating narrative traces the evolution of the Magdalene from the Reformation to the Restoration and raises provocative questions about the mnemonic function of religious art, the power of beautiful images in an iconoclastic culture, and the place of effect, longing, and embodiment in aProtestant poetics."

-------Huston Diehl, University of Iowa

D-Day: The Battle of Normandy by Anthony Beevor, Pengium, London, 608pp, $32.95

"With Stalingrad, Anthony Beevor reinvented grand narrative history for the late 20th Century, combining, as Orlando Figes put it in the Sunday Telegraph 'a soldiers understanding of war with the narrative of a novelist.' Now he brings that characteristic combination of skills to bear on the D-Day landings and the subsequent battle for Normandy, when the largest invasion fleet the world had ever known converged on Nazi-occupied France."

-------London Review of Books

My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times by Harold Evans, Little, Brown & Company; New York: 580pp, $27.99

"The 'Vanished Times' of the subtitle speak to an era when journalists made things, part of a complicated daily manufacturing apparatus of typesetting and printing that always ended in the satisfying plop of a physical object...No one was more satisfied than Evans, who saw in newspapers a route out of those humble, stout beginings that crop up again in narratives that hew to the Great Man theory of history. (It made sense that Evans would go on to write 'The American Century' and 'They Made America,' works that suggest history was made by those with their hands on the levers of wondrous machines).'"

"Harold Evans remains one of the great figures of modern journalism...His auto-biography is both gripping and timely."

-------The Economist

The Preacher and the Politician: Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama and Race in America by Clarence E. Walker and Gregory D. Smithers; University of Virginia Press, $22.95

"This stimulating discussion brings needed historical perspective to 2008's election season brouhaha over then candidate Obama's longtime minister, Wright, who was lambasted for making what we were widely considered to be racially divisive remarks from his pulpit after September 11."

-------Publishers Weekly


Ardis said…
No doubt books make the best gifts and with what you posted I will go for The Clinton Tapes. Keep trucking my brother and Happy Holidays!
Adanna said…
I am fascinated by Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol which would be my humble gift to a good friend this holiday season.
Akaro said…
u people are too bookish for me. I like my video games, period!
Unknown said…
Right now I am reading Marty Crump Sexy Orchids Make Lousy Lovers about the voyage of discovery in this amazing universe.
Ambrose said…
There are too many good reads out there for the holiday season, folks! I had stumbled upon Robert E. McGlone's "John Brown's War Against Slavery" which draws on both new and neglected evidence presenting an even-handed account of Brown's aborted war to free the slaves in the American South before the Civil War.

There's also "In the Shadow of Du Bois" by Robert Gooding Williams just released by Harvard University Press. Too many for the holidays including one of my favs "The Jazz Loft Project" by Sam Stephenson.
Anonymous said…
Reading is a healthy habit and much better when you volunteer to read in making a difference in a child's life.