Edward W Batchelder

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Best Music Writing 2005—J.T. LeRoy, ed.
Long before the Christmas decorations are hung in stores, before the Thanksgiving foods are laid out in the supermarkets, and often even before Halloween announces its eerie presence, intimations of the holiday season come to book reviewers in the form of a wave of “Best of” anthologies. Recently, it’s become more of a tsunami . . . link to article

The Iraq War Reader—Sifry & Cerf
What gradually becomes evident as one reads the book—like watching an island grow clearer in the fog as one approaches—is that the true motives for this war had less to do with Iraq’s military power than with the United States’ . . . link to article

Orwell: The Life—D. J. Taylor
Orwell’s dystopic vision has become the standard by which all governmental repression is measured . . . link to article

Life with a Star—Jiri Weil
Books about the Holocaust have come to fill a large category, as if the accumulating weight of documentaries and personal accounts might anchor the world against a drift into amnesia. The danger now lies in the opposite direction . . . link to article

A Summoning of Ghosts: Anna Akhmatova
Akhmatova was left like the sole survivor of a shipwreck, who washes ashore carrying with her the last mementos of a sunken and irretrievable culture . . . link to article

Utopia Can Wait: Karel Capek
Capek came of age as a writer just as the Czechs were rediscovering their national identity, and this seems to have been the catalyst for an astonishing variety of work. It’s as if a historical drama were being enacted, and Capek felt the need to act all the parts . . . link to article

The Word Made Fresh: Letterpress in the Age of Computers
Advances in technology over the past fifty years have radically changed the way most printing takes place, and a skill that once took a lifetime to perfect is now available, in a simplified form, for the price of a computer program . . . link to article

and more to come:
Pushkin's Children, The Slinx—Tatyana Tolstaya
A Love Supreme—Ashley Kahn
The Three-Arched Bridge—Ismael Kadare
Calamities of Exile—Lawrence Weschler

| Music | Books | Travel & Food | Politics & Essays | Work for Hire