Tag Archives: summer 2008

DOOM PATROL: Volumes 1-6

Grant Morrison, Richard Case, et al Vertigo ($19.99 each) by Ken Chen What is a “novel of ideas”? The phrase is most frequently slapped on alpha male novels, swaggering to diagnose contemporary politics and mores, stacked up with bricks of data, historical trivia, and straggling cast members, and striding eagerly towards a shaggy ambition: to encompass […]


Howard Zinn, Mike Konopacki, and Paul Buhle Metropolitan Books ($17) by Christopher Luna This graphic novel of Howard Zinn’s seminal A People’s History of the United States updates the information found in the original (now in its seventh edition) and features the historian as a narrator and witness to the atrocities committed in the name of American power. […]


SUBURBAN WORLD The Norling Photos Brad Zellar Borealis Books / Minnesota Historical Society Press ($27.95) WORLDS AWAY New Suburban Landscapes edited by Andrew Blauvelt Walker Art Center / D.A.P. ($34.95) by Deborah Karasov Over fifty years ago, a pioneering developer named William J. Levitt created the largest planned community constructed by a single builder in […]

THE LIFE OF THE SKIES: Birding at the End of Nature

Jonathan Rosen Farrar, Straus and Giroux ($24) by Spencer Dew Near the start of his lush, expansive meditations around the subject of birdwatching, Jonathan Rosen proposes that there is “an erotic component” to knowledge. The thought is almost an aside, one of a thousand delicious tidbits and marginal notions that flutter through the text, but […]

PHILOSOPHERS WITHOUT GODS: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life

edited by Louise M. Antony Oxford University Press ($28) by Simon Waxman Americans, apparently, are developing a taste for the heathen life. The American Religious Identification Survey, performed in 2001 by the City University of New York, found that only 0.9 percent of Americans described themselves as atheist or agnostic, but a 2007 poll from […]

THE ARGUMENT: Inside the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics

Matt Bai Penguin Books ($16) by Bob Hussey For nearly a century, Americans have wrangled over the proper role of government. In the 1930s, Roosevelt successfully argued that government should protect citizens from the excesses of unregulated capitalism. In the ’60s Lyndon Johnson expanded government’s role to promote racial equality and provide access to health […]

BIG ENOUGH TO BE INCONSISTENT: Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery and Race

George Fredrickson Harvard University Press ($19.95) by Spencer Dew The cottage industry of books on Abraham Lincoln represents both a process of national hagiography and the impulse to deconstruct the myth of Honest Abe, the Great Emancipator. George Fredrickson, pioneer of the comparative method of historical study, aims in this slim book for a middle […]

MIAMI AND THE SIEGE OF CHICAGO: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968

Norman Mailer New York Review Books ($14.95) by C. Natale Peditto Reading the fortieth anniversary reissue of Norman Mailer’s Miami and the Siege of Chicago, we recognize a writer at the peak of his literary and journalistic talents. This was a period in Mailer’s career that included the remarkably wrought Armies of the Night, which earned both […]