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101. To Begin Where I Am: Selected
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102. A Cultural History of Latin America
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103. Lost in the Cosmos : The Last
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104. The Irresponsible Self : On Laughter
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105. The Situation and the Story: The
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106. The Wave in the Mind : Talks and
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107. I'm Back for More Cash : A Tony
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108. The Best American Nonrequired
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109. Secrets of Angels & Demons:
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110. The Star Thrower
111. The Last Empire : Essays 1992-2000
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112. The Yankee Chick's Survival Guide
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113. The Writer and the World : Essays
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114. The Reception of Walter Pater
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115. Walden
116. We Could Almost Eat Outside :
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117. James Baldwin : Collected Essays
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118. Dreamers of Dreams: Essays on
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119. War Talk
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101. To Begin Where I Am: Selected Essays
by Czeslaw Milosz
list price: $30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374258902
Catlog: Book (2001-10-31)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 103603
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A comprehensive selection of essays--some never before translated into English--by the Nobel Laureate.

To Begin Where I Am brings together a rich sampling of poet Czeslaw Milosz's prose writings.Spanning more than a half century, from an impassioned essay on human nature, wartime atrocities, and their challenge to ethicalbeliefs, written in 1942 in the form of a letter to his friend Jerzy Andrzejewski, to brief biographical sketches and poetic prose pieces from the late 1990s, this volume presents Milosz the prose writer in all his multiple, beguiling guises.The incisive, sardonic analyst of the seductive power of communism is also the author of tender, elegiac portraits of friends famous and obscure; the witty commentator on Polish complexes writes lyrically of the California landscape. Two great themes predominate in these essays, several of which have never appeared before in English: Milosz's personal struggle to sustain his religious faith, and his unswerving allegiance to a poetry that is "on the side of man."
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Elegant and Sophisticated Prose
I highly recommend this volume to anyone. Along with his recently published New and Collected Poems(Ecco Press), Milosz stands tall as one of the most accomplished writers in the modern era. This volume of essays is highly personal and eloquent. His prose style is immediate and vivid, capturing insights of history and the "poetic." His work on Jeffers is remarkable. This is a poet of our time--his thought triumphs over despair and the ills of the human condition. He has witnessed some of the most deliberate atrocities in world history--his essays evoke a wisdom based on personal remembrance-and there is no better vision of our predicament than what is offered here.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Poet's Religious Humanism
Czeslaw Milosz is a renowned writer of both poetry and prose. He received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1980. In his long life, he has seen and written about many of the events of the Twentieth Century, including the Russian Revolution, the Holocaust, the Warsaw Uprising, and the rise and fall of communism. He served as a diplomat from Poland to the United States following WWII. Among his books is an incisive critique of communism titled "The Captive Mind".

"To begin where I am" is a selection of Milosz's essays published between 1942 and 1998, some written initially in English, but most written in Polish. The essays are wide-ranging in theme and capture a great deal of the scope of Milosz's passions. The good introduction to the book by Bogdana Carpenter and Madeline Levine point out that Milosz "has centered his writings on a few fundamental philosophical questions: the meaning of history; the existence of evil and suffering; the transience of all life; theascendance of a scientific worldview andthe decline of the religious imagination." The essays are well-arranged into four main sections.

The first group of essays titled "These Guests of Mine" is primarily historical and descriptive in character. I enjoyed particularly Milosz's description of Wilno(Vilna) in his "Dictionary of Wilno Streets."

For me the heart of the book is in the second and third parts, titled "On the Side of Man" and "Against Incomprehensible Poetry." We learn a great deal about a writer by his discussions of those who have influenced him. In this book,Miloscz's essays on the American poet Robinson Jeffers, on the Russian philospher Lev Shestov, and on the French theological thinker Simone Weil are highly thoughtful. They reveal a writer both struggling for a commitment to religion, to Catholicism in particular, in the face of a scientific and material worldview which he finds inconsistent with it, and a writer committed to humanism, to the best in man and culture. They are an inspiring and difficult set of commitments, and Milosz discusses them eloquently.

In Part 3 of the book, the centerpiece is the title essay "Against Incomprehensible Poetry". In this essay, Milosz develops insights from W.H. Auden and makes them his own. Auden had said "there is only one thing that all poetry must do,it must praise all it can for being and for happening." (p.381). This insight becomes the basis of a critique of much obscurantism in modern poetry. We are privileged to hear, in the book, a discussion of the continuing value of poetry and informed discussion of many poets worth knowing, from Whitman, Blake,and Jeffers to many of Milosz's Polish contempories. These latter writers are unknown to me, but Milosz makes one wish for them as companions through his discussions.

The fourth part of the book. "In Constant Amazement", is brief and consists of a collection of aphorisms. The aphorism I found most striking discusses the nature of human sexuality. It begins: "Men and women carry within their imagination an image of themselves and of others as sexual beings and often that is the only thing that humanizes them." (p. 436)

This book helped me with my own thinking and reflection. I hope it will help you with yours as well. ... Read more

102. A Cultural History of Latin America : Literature, Music and the Visual Arts in the 19th and 20th Centuries (The Cambridge History of Latin America)
list price: $28.99
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Asin: 0521626269
Catlog: Book (1998-08-13)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 299664
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A Cultural History of Latin America brings together chapters from Volumes III, IV, and X of The Cambridge History of Latin America. The essays place Latin American literature, music and visual arts in historical context, from the early nineteenth century through the late twentieth century.Topics include narrative fiction and poetry; indigenous literatures and culture; the development of music, sculpture, painting, mural art, and architecture; and the history of Latin American film. Each chapter is accompanied by a bibliographical essay. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Both poor and excellent essays re the region's "culture"
While the latest edition of Leslie Bethell's Oxford "History Of Latin America" series suffers by comparison with others of the series it does provide insight and information on an aspect of Latin America which is often slighted by economic or political analyses of the region. The anthology covers (in order) literature, poetry, Native American art, plastic art, architecture and film. The calibre of the essays varies greatly. Martin's insights into the region's literary trends remind me of Jean Franco's excellent work whereas other sections, such as those on architecture and the plastic, come across as a mere listing of works and their creators. One reason for this is that the various authors were faced with the dilemma of either accurately portraying the region's culture as disparate or tying the various artists together into overall patterns. The authors who sacrificed accuracy were able to analyze in an engaging manner, while those who, correctly, recognized that patterns are few in the region suffered from chaotic and incoherent essays. ... Read more

103. Lost in the Cosmos : The Last Self-Help Book
by Walker Percy
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0312253990
Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
Publisher: Picador
Sales Rank: 32178
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Walker Percy's mordantly funny and wholly original contribution to the self-help book craze deals with the Western mind's tendency toward heavy abstraction. This favorite of Percy fans continues to charm and beguile readers of all tastes and backgrounds. Lost in the Cosmos invites us to think about how we communicate with our world.
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Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is my BIBLE, I recommend that everybody read it.
This book is incredible there isn't a thing I can say is wrong with it. It will help you ponder the complexities of one's self and give possible explanations that may help one better understand themselves from many different perspectives. It is a very easy and nice read. Complete with semiotic theories which Walker Percy finds his most worthy contribution to writing. It is just MARVELOUS. If I can buy everybody a book, this would be it. I suggest it to ALL! Please read it, I know you'll love it and you'll understand yourself so much better. This man is INCREDIBLE, I don't know how much more I can say, but TRUST ME you'll enjoy every page!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars The errant, prodigal Southerner facing the millenium
I especially sympathised with Percy when I first read this book. I had just finished all of his novels (of which there are too few) and was at a fairly confusing time of my life. A college sophomore frustrated and confused by the surrounding societal constructs, I was fascinated at Percy's insights into the human psyche. By identifying how alone we all feel in a world full of people, he makes us feel less alone. He explains our morbid fascination with all things tragic and makes us feel okay about them. He explains prejudice without justifying it. He endorses Dixie beer. With his novels, Percy has taken the pathos of the likes of Faulkner and adapted it to contemporary times, and this book tears away at its inner workings. I have reread this book every six months for the last four years and it never loses its poignancy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tells/asks it like it is . . .
What a fantastic book this is! Having initially read "The Moviegoer" I wasn't prepared for this one, for what Walker does in this book just blew me away! Of all his works, this one is the best. Not to be missed, pick this up and enjoy! Would also recommend another great Amazon pick which I ran across recently: BARK OF THE DOGWOOD by Jackson McCrae.

1-0 out of 5 stars hardbound spam
This is the first Walker Percy book I read. I thought his stuff was supposed to be funny. I'll try another. I suggest you give this one a miss, unless you've never read a self-help book, then perhaps this would be more entertaining than doing so.

Some of his questions recall late nights as a college student, gabbing on the sofa rather than studying.

Really, the calibre of the humour -- inane -- reminded me of the kind of spam I used to get and that now gets deleted unread.

Skip it. Any reputation he has as a humourist can't be founded on this effort.

Instead, read Henry Miller's The Cosmological Eye. Then, sit on a sofa with a college student 'til 3 a.m.

5-0 out of 5 stars all the prodding questions you never wanted to face
Walker Percy has written a book that never really answers any of your questions but somehow leaves you feeling as if you have a broader understanding of what it means to be human. He is witty, sarcastic, entertaining and painfully honest. This is a wonderful book that should be read by anyone wishing to understand the human condition. I'm not even sure how to describe it. Just get it and you'll know what I mean. I had to read it for a culture and values class about 10 years ago and have gone thru 5 coppies from lending them out and never getting them back. :) ... Read more

104. The Irresponsible Self : On Laughter and the Novel
by James Wood
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
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Asin: 0374177376
Catlog: Book (2004-06-16)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 140870
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Book Description

James Wood's first book of essays, The Broken Estate, established him as the leading critic of his generation, one whose judgments "are distinguished by their originality and precision, the depth of reading that informs them, and the metaphorical richness of their language" (Harper's). Its successor, The Irresponsible Self, confirms Wood's preeminence, not only as a discerning judge but also as an appreciator of novels, with a special interest in the ways they make us laugh. In twenty-three passionate, sparkling dispatches, he defends what he calls "secular comedy"-human, tragicomic, forgiving, bound up with the very origins of the novel -against the narrower "religious comedy" of satire and farce, which is corrective, punitive, and theatrical. Ranging over such crucial comic writers as Cervantes, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Waugh, Bellow, and Naipaul, Wood offers a broad history of comedy while examining each chosen writer with his customary care and intense focus. This collection (which includes Wood's much-discussed attack on "hysterical realism") is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about modern fiction or criticism today.
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105. The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative
by Vivian Gornick
list price: $13.00
our price: $10.40
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Asin: 0374528586
Catlog: Book (2002-10-11)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 53878
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A guide to the art of personal writing, by the author of Fierce Attachments and The End of the Novel of Love

All narrative writing must pull from the raw material of life a tale that will shape experience, transform event, deliver a bit of wisdom. In a story or a novel the "I" who tells this tale can be, and often is, an unreliable narrator but in nonfiction the reader must always be persuaded that the narrator is speaking truth.

How does one pull from one's own boring, agitated self the truth-speaker who will tell the story a personal narrative needs to tell? That is the question The Situation and the Story asks--and answers. Taking us on a reading tour of some of the best memoirs and essays of the past hundred years, Gornick traces the changing idea of self that has dominated the century, and demonstrates the enduring truth-speaker to be found in the work of writers as diverse as Edmund Gosse, Joan Didion, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, or Marguerite Duras.

This book, which grew out of fifteen years teaching in MFA programs, is itself a model of the lucid inteligence that has made Gornick one of our most admired writers of ninfiction. In it, she teaches us to write by teaching us how to read: how to recognize truth when we hear it in the writing of others and in our own.
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A book that deserves the stature of its author
Vivian Gornick writes beautifully, whether she's writing about love, politics, or the craft of writing. The Situation and the Story is based on her many years of teaching creative writing and focuses on ways of making nonfiction personal without wallowing in self-absorption. In other words, it helps writers discover where the 'universal truth,' the essence of Story, is in the millions of anecdotes in our lives.
As an author and writing teacher, I've found this book invaluable and have read it several times. My copy is well thumbed and appropriately coffee-stained.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful discussion, beautifully written
Vivian Gornick invariably delights me, whether in her memoir, Fierce Attachments, her occasional essays in various journals, her book about reading, or this new one, which gave me a lot to think about.
The Situation and the Story focuses on essay and memoir-writing. Rather than trying to cover a lot of ground superficially, Gornick lays out one main idea and explores it in depth, using a wide variety of examples to illustrate her ideas. It was particularly helpful to have long excerpts from these examples, so I could really get a sense of the essay or memoir being discussed. She deals most intelligently with the question of the narrator -- the narrator's "persona" on the page, and the relationship of the narrator to her/his material.
As someone who writes and teaches memoir, I found this extremely helpful, but it will be equally interesting to anyone who writes or reads narrative nonfiction and wants to think seriously about it.
It is a great relief to find a book about writing that has gracefully sidestepped every pitfall of the advice genre. Gornick's style is respectful: she expects her readers to be as serious and smart about literature as she is herself and, even if we're not, we can always find a lot to think about in her work.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Situation and The Story
The Situation and the Story, by Vivian Gornick is immensely entertaining while adapting an educational prose designed to enhance awareness of "self" as narrator. She uses excellent examples of non-fiction narratives that serve to further the invitation of speculation through tone, syntax, and perspective. The self as a persona is developed using wonderful writers such as Joan Didion, Oscar Wilde, and Edmond Gosse.

Vivian Gornick breaks down the writing barrier and gets right to the contents of human emotion. We are what we write, and our personal truths are conveyed in our words. She does a fabulous job taking a stand against the "boring, agitated" self and replaces that with the truth speaker who can move an essay forward creatively and effectively. Non-fiction can instruct without losing the personal voice.

For anyone who likes to write, this book is the first step to question your narrative self and begin to discover the wonderful implications that "self" can bring to your writing. I highly recommend this book. ... Read more

106. The Wave in the Mind : Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.87
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Asin: 1590300068
Catlog: Book (2004-02-17)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 35066
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection of Non-fiction Essays, Story-Teller Style
I love (almost) all of Ursula K. LeGuin's fiction. She is a wonderful storyteller whose rhythmic prose struck me and stuck with me even before I gave much thought to the idea of rhythm in prose. (Having children and reading aloud brings a new dimension to story telling.) Her imagined worlds and characters resound deeply with me, and she has earned my trust as one of the consistently best authors I have read.

This non-fiction collection is just as thought-provoking as her best stories. I had to be careful not to "gobble it up" by reading too fast. I'm sure that I will read it again and again. It gives much hope to an aspiring fiction writer whose story hasn't arrived yet. (Turns out I'm just too young; maybe next year.)

I had also worried that perhaps I had read too much to ever be creative in writing; maybe if I begin to write something original, it will come out with inadvertently plagiarized bits of Dispossessed, Lord of the Rings, and Little Women, since those seem to get stuck in my head. The admonition of Ms LeGuin that all good writers ought to read, and read a lot, comforts me. All these years I've just been fertilizing my imagination.

Although I have never met her, it seems that through some of her essays, the separation that exists between her writing and her self narrows, and the humor and wisdom and brightness (luminousness, luminosity??) of her personality shines through. I hope someday that one of the highlights of my life might be knowing her for an hour.

There is always the possibility of a writing workshop, but I really wish I could have heard her "moo"... ... Read more

107. I'm Back for More Cash : A Tony Kornheiser Collection (Because You Can't Take Two Hundred Newspapers intothe Bathroom)
list price: $13.95
our price: $12.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812968530
Catlog: Book (2003-05-20)
Publisher: Villard
Sales Rank: 178329
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Tony Kornheiser is back. Within these pages, the celebrated Washington Post columnist, Pardon the Interruption cohost, and ESPN radio personality relates his experience as an OnStar user, the proud new owner of the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ, and a “phone-a-friend” on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. And in between, he dishes political commentary on Monica and Bill and George W. and Al. New for the paperback edition is Tony’s final Washington Post Style column. So read all about his quest to fit into size 36 Dockers and his struggle to buy holiday gifts. And know that in the process you’re handing this Kornheiser guy way too much dough for these columns. ... Read more

Reviews (78)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tome is Burning
Rack this book, it is so epic. Feel free to pay with Cash, Credit Card, Check, or the Infiniti plan, where you pay fully for the book, but do not touch it for 4 months.

Note : Chicagoland purchasers will not be able to read the last third of this book. Instead they will have to read a syndicated radio host read scripted "takes" written by someone else.

I'm back for more cash, is such a fine work of art. Almost as compelling as a drive down the fevered pitch of a soccer field. Paperback, perfect for a nice day outdoors on a hammock!

5-0 out of 5 stars Tony is back for more laughs...
Tony Kornheiser, master of all media, provides another excellent collection of Washington Post columns in his new book, "I'm Back for More Cash". Don't let the sarcastic title fool you...if you're looking for humorous and entertaining columnists, Kornheiser's wit is perhaps rivaled by only Dave Barry. This collection will provide hours of laughs, and makes a fantastic gift for young and old alike. Check out some of his previous titles available on for more laughs!

5-0 out of 5 stars Old, fat, orange, bald...
and incredibly funny. Tony strikes again with a collection of Washington Post Style columns on a wide array of topics from Clinton to south Florida retirees to the weatherman. A classic American literary piece its not, but for light, entertaining reading it wins out. Be careful where you read it - I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Stinks
Tony Kornheiser is one of the funniest men alive. It was great to be able to read his non-sports collumns. This book really shows his versatility

5-0 out of 5 stars This book stinks
This book stinks, although I'm missing the last third here in Chicago. ... Read more

108. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 (Best American Nonrequired Reading)
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
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Asin: 0618246967
Catlog: Book (2003-10-10)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 13347
Average Customer Review: 3.44 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars Unmitigated Failure
They should retitle this volume: "Nonrequired Reading, Where Literature Comes To Die" Why anyone would want to waste their time with pretentious drivel like this is beyond me. This is the most needless collection of mish-mash I have ever seen put together.

1-0 out of 5 stars Must Miss
This anthology is dull, dull, dull, full of mediocre writers who couldn't achieve recognition if it wasn't for the keen perceptive eyes of Dave Eggers and Zadie Smith, two "literary powerhouses"--yeah, I even have to laugh at that one. If you hate Smith and Eggers, you'll hate this anthology even more. This volume is titled Nonrequired Reading for a reason. It's somewhat amusing to skim through while you're on the toilet, but I can't say that it merits anything more than a cynical chuckle, before being tossed into the garbage bin with last month's Cosmo.

5-0 out of 5 stars Are we "forced" to read it?
Another reviewer accuses Eggers of "forcing" his tastes on the reader. I must be one of the lucky few who Dave Eggers did not force to read this book at gunpoint. The title of this book is "Nonrequired Reading" - by definition, you are going to find pieces which are off the beaten path.

Personally, I found this book an invaluable tool to judge the state of modern writing. This is the only "Best American" collection I own, and I think it is the most valuable. Whereas this one gets criticized for being "too hip" the others strike me as being too high-brow or revisionist. This collection shows what people ACTUALLY READ.

The story behind the book is that Eggers has a team of literary-minded high school students cull the best of everything they've read from the entire year. The works contained in this collection run the gamut from fiction, to journalism, to humor, to essays - it even includes a comic strip. What makes this book so indispensable for any aspiring writer is not only that it gives an idea of the current voice of writing and the new young authors who are writing it, but it also lists the publications where one can find them.

Among the new authors that this book has helped me to discover is the very young J.T. Leroy. The author of Blackhawk Down provides an incisive and disturbing biography Saddam Hussein. The always dependable David Sedaris provides a very funny account of his brother Rooster's wedding.

I would have felt I got my money's worth from the book if I had just read the forward by Eggers (the part we were supposed to "skip"). Eggers is one of the best, freshest voices in writing today. Even better is the introduction by Zadie Smith where she provides guidelines of "how to read", complete with a lot of useful quotes from literature.

1-0 out of 5 stars Catering to the Hipster Audience
Eggers and Smith, the two "hippest" writers around, assume that they have the gravitas to force their trendy, ironic tastes on the reading public. If their own books are any indication, this volume will be chalk-full of pompous post-modern dronings about the absurdity of contemporary existence. Eggers forward is atrocius. So you should skip that. Actually, skip the whole book. But if you're one of those young people wearing vintage track jackets, cardigan sweaters, stonewashed jeans, black-rimmed granny classes and multiple facial piercings, and who loves discussing the nuances of Foucalt's philosophy at Starbucks, then look no further. This collection was made for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking variety
This category was added last year - short pieces from periodicals big and small, chosen for young adults by young adults - San Francisco high school kids. A dubious prospect. But, whether it's youthful enthusiasm or the editor's "firm, unrelenting" guidance, the result is a funny, serious, edgy, clever and thoughtful mix, for all ages.

There's a long, quietly chilling piece on Saddam Hussein by Mark Bowden and a buoyantly resolute piece on growing up American and Muslim during the first Gulf War by V. Kvashay-Boyle.

A number of pieces turn on the traumas of childhood and dealing with family. "Then there's the time I went as Hitler for Halloween," begins Ryan Boudinot. David Drury gets childhood cruelty and suburban conformity down pat in "Things We Knew When the House Caught Fire." David Sedaris, funny as ever, offers up his family on his brother, Rooster's, wedding day, and Jonathan Safran Foer has a clever piece on the silences of family communication. More edgy are Douglas Light's wrenching story of abandoned sisters, J.T. Leroy's tale of an angry, ambitious, homeless boy, and Judy Budnitz' eerie, creepy story of a girl visiting her busted-up brother in the hospital.

The journalism is first rate, especially George Packer's fascinating exploration of what, exactly, happens to all those donated clothes, "How Susie Bayer's T-Shirt Ended Up on Yusuf Mama's Back;" and Chuck Closterman's profile of a tribute band, "The Pretenders."

Shorter pieces - Sherman Alexie's meditative "What Sacagawea Means to Me," as well as the Onion's humorous "I'll Try Anything with a Detached Air of Superiority," and Amanda Holzer's brief, smart, story in song titles - round out the mix.

Whether funny, grim, hip, winsome or informative, all these pieces are stimulating, gripping, thought-provoking. An excellent, well-balanced anthology. ... Read more

109. Secrets of Angels & Demons: The Unauthorized Guide To The Bestselling Novel
by Dan Burstein, Arne de Keijzer
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593151403
Catlog: Book (2004-12-01)
Publisher: CDs Books
Sales Rank: 7508
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Book Description

Set against the backdrop of beautiful Baroque Rome, Secrets of Angels & Demons takes you inside the Vatican to see how the process of conclave and papal selection really works – and who may be elected the next time white smoke is seen at the Vatican.

Readers will explore the world of Bernini, master artist of the Baroque era, and the secret meanings behind his symbolism…What really happened in the trial of Galileo…The impact of the Illuminati, the Freemasons, and other secret societies on European and American history…The real state if the art antimatter technology…The centuries-old debate between science and religion.

Building on the model they created for Secrets of the Code: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code, editors Dan Burstein and Arne de Keijzer now take readers on an extended tour of the thought-provoking ideas infusing Dab Brown’s thriller, Angels and Demons.

Millions of readers want to separate fact from fiction in these books.The "Secrets" series teases apart the real and the imagined within the historical labyrinth of conspiracies, cover-ups, messages encoded in famous artworks, secrets societies, and mystical knowledge.

Secrets of Angels & Demons:The Unauthorized Guide to the Bestselling Novel is must reading for anyone fascinated with Dan Brown’s historical mysteries—Angels Demons and The Da Vinci Code.

Here are world-class historians, theologians, philosophers, scientists, art historians, technologists, symbologists, occultists, linguists, and writers and thinkers of all types discussing and debating the issues triggered by Dan Brown’s murder mystery.Burstein and de Keijzer have drawn together this authoritative group of experts to penetrate and explore Angels & Demons, and to begin an exciting, engaging conversation for and with the millions who have read this book. ... Read more

110. The Star Thrower
by Loren C. Eiseley
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0156849097
Catlog: Book (1979-09-01)
Publisher: Harcourt
Sales Rank: 29232
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars a unique read for any deep thinkers
I first encountered this book when I was looking for an author to do a high school english project on, and I was immediately drawn to this little-known author through the expressive style of his writing and the deeply unique philosophy inherent in every piece of work. Eiseley was not just a talented writer but a deeply emotional naturalist and his profound respect for all things living is apparent throughout his works. As he walks us through his close brushes with nature we are allowed a glimpse of the vast poetic world that we so often ignore.

Eiseley writes intimately of his natural encounters, and we get a feeling that he is a rare man who felt somewhat out of place in the busy, fallible human world, and dwelled more along the indistinct boundary whose edges blur first into the natural world and then into the world we have made our own. An old adage has often gone "Every minute is precious" and Eiseley holds to this with an energy that turns every second, be it spent on a balcony bathed in early morning sunlight, or watching the jeweled webs of a spider into an infinitely precious memory never to be forgotten.

This is without a doubt one of the most lyrical and insightful works on nature that you will ever read. If you are an avid naturalist you will be even more appreciative of all things that grow when you have finished reading this book. With a flourish of his pen, Eiseley reminds us that there is another life we may live, one where money, which has come to be central to our societies, and the essential human weakness, has no place beside the whisper of leaves drifting to the forest floor and the silken flow of crystal waters.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Star Thrower is a miraculous story of life
Contrary to some people's reviews that I have read, I believe the Star Thrower is a magical book. It can only be enjoyed by those who wish to open their minds to new ways of thinking. If you do not start the book open-minded, I guarantee that you will not enjoy the book to its full potential. Loren Eisley is genious in his way of thinking. This book can change lives, but only if you let it!

1-0 out of 5 stars This book wasn't very good at all.
All of the stories deal with this depressing individual who writes nonsense about everything. I had to read this for school and then discuss it and it was horrible. His ridiculous ideas and life story was boring. IF all these stories are true, this guy 1. needed to find new friends. 2. He needed to get a life. Apologizing to your blood when you cut yourself is ....

5-0 out of 5 stars A gem from a truly complex writer
Loren Eisley has been described as the 20th century's answer to Henry David Thoreau, and when reading this book it's hard to doubt the description. Eisley writes in a thought-provoking, almost mystical style unlike few authors I've ever read...he has a gift for seeing both the heights and limits of science like no other scientist I have known of. He is a naturalist, poet, realist, existentialist, haunted mystic, evolutionary anthropologist, environmental advocate, historian, and human being, 200 proof. Few have lived their lives so fully; few have left us such a legacy of poetry and prose. This book is an anthology of his best work, selected from several past publications including "The Immense Journey" and others, as well as including a few rare gems like his poetry. His reflections upon humankind, time, evolution, the Earth, the natural world, the unknown, and even the very nature of existence itself are more powerful than the most dense scientific formulae or the most sacred tomes of Scripture. He looks at our mysterious universe with the eyes of a human being, and he looks at his own soul in the process...and along the way, he helps us to find our own. Make no mistake; this is not the work of a theologian or a secularist; if one is looking for affirmations of either God's glory or dry theses of a devout Darwinist, look elsewhere. These are the stories of a complex human being who, first to himself and then to the rest of us, admits that there is far more in heaven and earth than is dreamed of in our philosophy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Literary treasures from a scientist-humanist
The Star Thrower, The Night Country, The Immense Journey all are wonderful perspectives on nature. I feel privileged to have met the author at an event in Washington, DC when a book of his poetry was published. Years before that he participated in geological/anthropological hunts with Dr. Bertrand Schultz, and my uncle and others connected to the University of Nebraska. Dr. Schultz went on to head Morrill Hall Museum at the University of Nebraska and became an advisor to James Michener on the paleontology for "Centennial." (and I worked with Dr. Schultz's daughter on the yearbook staff at the University of Nebraska) Loren Eiseley is/was one of my favorite essayists. If you enjoy the writing of Carl Sagan, you should also give Mr. Eiseley a try. ... Read more

111. The Last Empire : Essays 1992-2000
list price: $27.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385501544
Catlog: Book (2001-06-05)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 422363
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A new collection of provocative, witty and eloquent essays by Gore Vidal, the greatest living American man of letters and one of the finest essayists of the twentieth (and twenty-first) century.

The Last Empire is Gore Vidal's ninth collection of essays in the course of his distinguished literary career. As in the previous volumes, which include the 1993 National Book Award-winning United States: Essays 1952-1992, Vidal displays unparalleled range and inimitable style as he deals with matters literary, historical, personal, and political. There are warm (and shrewd) appreciations of Edmund Wilson, Dawn Powell, Sinclair Lewis, and Mark Twain; polemical observations on the major figures and (as he sees it) deplorable developments in American politics, Bill Clinton, FDR, JFK, his cousin Al Gore, the CIA and the American empire, the global reach of media conglomerates, and the United States' disdain for the UN, as well as fascinating autobiographical vignettes. Pieces that have already generated shock waves include his essay in dispraise of the works of John Updike, his controversial defense of Charles Lindbergh, and his attack on the national security state that first appeared in Vanity Fair.Nobody makes the fur fly in a more elegant and civilized fashion than Gore Vidal. He is our indispensable man.
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Reviews (16)

Gore Vidal is one of those writers who always challenges, excites, and stirs up my thinking. While I do not fully endorse all of the views in "THE LAST EMPIRE: ESSAYS 1992-2000", I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. He is one of the best.

In terms of clarity of thought and analysis, Gore writes on subjects as varied as Sinclair Lewis, Mark Twain, JFK, FDR, Truman, Charles Lindbergh, John Updike (one of the funniest, most thoughtful and scathing essays in the book), "bad history", race relations, and the U.S. political system.

Here are two examples of the passion and conviction Vidal brings to this book:

1) "...I invite the Senate to contemplate Vice President Aaron Burr's farewell to the body over which he himself had so ably presided: 'This house is a sanctuary, a citadel of law, of order, and of liberty; and it is here in this exalted refuge; here, if anywhere, will resistance be made to the storm of political frenzy and the silent arts of corruption; and if the Constitution be destined ever to perish by the sacrilegious hands of the demagogue or the usurper, which God avert, its expiring agonies will be witnessed on this floor.' Do no harm to this state, Conscript Fathers." (essay on 'Birds and Bees and Clinton')

2) "What will the next four years bring? With luck, total gridlock. ... With bad luck (and adventures), Chancellor Cheney will rule. A former Secretary of Defense, he has said that too little money now goes to the Pentagon even though last year it received 51 percent of the discretionary budget. Expect a small war or two in order to keep military appropriations flowing. There will also be tax relief for the very rich. But bad scenario or good scenario, we shall see very little of the charmingly simian George W. Bush. The military - Cheney, Powell, et al. - will be calling the tune, and the whole nation will be on constant alert, for, James Baker has already warned us, Terrorism is everywhere on the march. We cannot be too vigilant. Welcome to Asuncion. Yes! We have no bananas."
The Nation 8/15 January 2001 (Essay on 'Democratic Vistas')

No matter what one may think of Gore Vidal, his writings will always engage and challenge the reader to think, and think, and think. And learn.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gore Vidal has always been clear about what is real and true
This collection of essays is written in Vidal's always concise, straight-to-the-point manner. As great as he is in the historical fiction genre (his works from "Burr" through "Empire" are true American classics), still, I think his essay work is his best venue. Split into four parts, the latter three are often brilliant. His essay "Wiretapping the Oval Office" is hilarious, while his "Time for a Peoples Convention" is timely, even before it became imperative. Vidal seems to have the knack for seeing the most viable probabilities before they become crystal clear. The man simply talks (and writes) sensible, if sometimes altruistic, ideas and ideals. "Race Against Time" is one of those altruistic, yet emminently sensible essays. If anyone doubts Vidal's knack for seeing political reality in advance, let me quote his 1992 essay "With Extreme Prejudice", "...there is no longer a rational for so many secret services unless the Feds really come out of the closet and declare war on the American people, the ultimate solution..." Patriot Act anyone? Part Four of this book of essays must be read. "Shredding The Bill Of Rights", written in 1998, is an eery, uncanny prediction (come true) of what is happening now - ostensibly as a result of the 9/11 attacks - but Vidal saw this coming well before that. Recently, an aquaintance of mine whose opinions I respect stated that "desperate times call for desperate measures" when I expressed my deep concern with the unusually (and, in my opinion, illegal and unconstitutional) wide scope and potential for serious abuse of power contained in the PATRIOT Act (an acronym for Providing Adequate Tools Required in order to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism). I reminded him that this was precisely the defense used at Nuremburg by Nazi defense council. Count on Vidal to always be on the cutting edge of what is coming to a Country near you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Vidal sharpens his knives once more
A collection of Gore Vidal's essays covering the years 1992-2000, "The Last Empire" is a fine addendum of sorts to the epic "United States."

Vidal is once more concerned primarily with the subjects of art and politics, and he's at his best when his two preoccupations meet, as they do several times in this volume. Vidal, perhaps out of rivalry, perhaps out of genuine contempt resulting from objective analysis, makes a meal out of author John Updike in "Rabbit's Own Burrow," the lengthy essay that may be the highlight of this collection. When Vidal brings out his carving knives, you may sometimes pity whomever he deigns to dine on, but you're likely to be satisfied with the feast he serves.

Vidal can be nice, too, and his thoughts on Frank Sinatra shortly after the crooner's death, are enlightening for anyone who squirmed at the sight of the Voice's seemingly illogical embrace of conservative politics after a lifetime of populism. Elsewhere, in his reaction to the death of Richard Nixon, you're not entirely sure where he stands. Vidal seems to have a grudging respect for the man he did so much to villify.

Vidal's massive ego takes to the stage in "A Note on The City and the Pillar and Thomas Mann" in which he shares with us entries from Mann's diary praising...Vidal! It could almost be too much to take if Vidal weren't so amusing even at his most insufferable.

Vidal is the last of the great curmudgeons, but unlike most of that breed, he resists being fully lovable. His sense of superiority keeps even some of his most avid admirers at arm's length, but whether one agrees with his views or not, he never fails to make you think and to laugh.

2-0 out of 5 stars mostly illogical, but intellegent
Gore Vidal, clearly one of the great essayists of our time, a wonderful man to read. He speaks to the best iun us and one must be educated to fully comprehend his literary indulgences. Unfortunatly for all his grandeur this publication is mostly flawed. its essays ont he Japanese intentions in WWII, its view of Islam and his biased, illogical hateed of the Republicans and his view of Americas role in the world are all flawed.

Nevertheless I recommend this book to anyone interested in reading a fair and intellegent critique of the conservative agenda. Most of illogical trash that documents Americas sopposed obessesion with dominating the world is not worth the reading. Pick up Gore's book but I would recommend bringing along some other sources so you can better be academically equipped to rebut Mr. Gores comments.

5-0 out of 5 stars Honest, Stylish, and Sometimes Brutal
For sheer stylistic prowess and fervor Gore Vidal's essay collections are always a rewarding purchase. This collection is no exception. Whether he's illuminating a social issue, destroying a literary critic, or praising a fellow writer, Vidal exhibits a thoroughly convincing intelligence.

Vidal is that nearly extinct kind of writer: one who knows something besides the rankings of various MFA programs. He is a polyglot (unheard of among the new generation of BFAers and MFAers, whose sole exposure to foreign language is the required four semesters of Spanish during undergrad). He is well-versed in history, politics, and European history (considered pretentious and irrelevant by the BFAers and MFAers). And he writes about something more than his own life, though his life has been extraordinarily interesting compared to the dozens of MFAers who want to write (yet again) about the time grandma sewed a quilt. At a time in American letters when poetry is little more than autobiography in verse, and fiction is little more than an exercise in deleting adverbs, Gore Vidal is both an anomaly and a saving grace.

As a final note, much has been made of Vidal's assault on John Updike. Some have hinted that Vidal resents Updike's greater critical status. Firstly, Vidal is such a literary giant (with millions of copies of all of his books in print) that to worry about such a comparison would be petty, which Vidal rarely is. Secondly, a man who has redefined himself so many times is slave not to the critics, but to his own artistic integrity. And finally, had Updike written the first literary novel in American history to openly deal with homosexuality and was then blacklisted for over a decade by TIME and the New Yorker because they didn't want to be associated in any way with anything homosexual, then maybe his critical status would be a little damaged as well. TIME and the New Yorker refused to even review Vidal's books between 1948 (when The City and the Pillar was published) to 1960. It was during this time that Updike made his name writing about perfectly safe, upper-class, white people doing very heterosexual things (like being promiscuous, but always with the opposite sex).

In short, Vidal is the most important literary figure in America during the second half of the twentieth century. If you don't know him yet, this book is good introduction. ... Read more

112. The Yankee Chick's Survival Guide to Texas
by Sophia Dembling
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1556228880
Catlog: Book (2001-12-01)
Publisher: Republic of Texas Press
Sales Rank: 120866
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Texas “Yankee” is a loose term covering a lot of ground. If you’re not a Texan or a southerner, you’re a Yankee and therefore, to many Texans, suspect.

There are many rites of passage to being a Yankee in Texas: the first time you spot a pickup with a gun rack; the first time you realize that a week is a long time to go without Mexican food; the first time you recognize a change in seasons; your first thunderstorm; your first honky-tonk.

Culture shock in Texas can be intense and is exacerbated by local rules of propriety that tell us to keep our mouths shut. But here in this book we are going to talk about it all with good old Yankee outspokenness. We’ll clear the air, share experiences, orient newcomers, and have some good laughs. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cowboy Hats off to Sophia!
A must-read not just for Yankee chicks! Transplanted to Dallas from New Jersey 19 years ago! Finally, someone with all the insight of what it means to be a Texan puts it in words!
This book is funny and will laugh out
loud! Ms. Dembling's wit and sense of humor will keep you
entertained. Everything you always wanted to know about Texas survival is indeed covered! I related to everything written, especially the cuisine section! It's a fabulous gift for
someone moving to Texas who hasn't got a clue on what to the 2 or 3-step and get extra copies!
Thank you Ms. Dembling for the real fun time I had reading your

4-0 out of 5 stars Yankee Chick, Not Just For Chicks
As someone who lived in the Big Apple and migrated to Texas (Austin) I can relate, and I'm not even a Chick! Ms. Dembling has captured the essence of life in the Big D, Texas and Texans pretty well. The book is an easy read, delightful and funny. A must for any Yankees headed to Texas or recent arrivals (I've recommended to several). I hope she is considering a sequel, and I hope it is about Austin (my home town) - the combination of Ms. Dembling's writing style, wit and the craziness of this city make for a great combination.

5-0 out of 5 stars A New Transplant
As a new Texan, and yes a Yankee Chick, I found this book extremely helpful. I understand my new adopted state a little better, but I understand how different I may appear to my new found friends due solely to this book. Thanks to my best friend up North for buying this book for me as a going away present. I read it on the way here on the plane, I could not put the book down. It is time again for me to read it... it's that good.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a GREAT read!!!
This should be required reading for any Yankee Chick moving to Texas as well as any one who embraces the many cultural differences that make this country great. Ms. Dembling's insight and sharp wit had me laughing out loud many times and I don't even live in Texas or the South; I'm just a Yankee Chick living up North in Yankee land. Before reading this delightful book (which I read on a lark during a biz trip to Dallas) I had no interest in Texas, but now - hell, I think I'd like to plan a vacation there, perhaps find my self some good old boys to hang out with! Her pride in being a Yankee Chick and her love of Texas is evident throughout and it translates into a sincerity that makes this book so special. Hurry, buy this book!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Useful ... and funny
I'm contemplating a move to Texas, and this book is just what I needed. It's funny, the author is charming and the info is perfect. As a native Californian, I really had no idea what to expect from Texas, but after reading this, I think I do. It seems like everything is different in Texas, from customs to state pride to guns to food, and it would be easy to be confused. It would be great if someone could write this book about every state in the nation. I think we'd all understand each other better.
I also think this would be a great gift to give someone who has moved to Texas in the past five years or so. It's really funny. ... Read more

113. The Writer and the World : Essays
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375707301
Catlog: Book (2003-09-09)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 351397
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Spanning four decades and four continents, this magisterial volume brings together the essential shorter works of reflection and reportage by our most sensitive, literate, and undeceivable observer of the post-colonial world. In its pages V. S. Naipaul trains his relentless moral intelligence on societies from India to the United States and sees how each deals with the challenges of modernity and the seductions of both the real and mythical past.

Whether he is writing about a string of racial murders in Trinidad; the mad, corrupt reign of Mobutu in Zaire; Argentina under the generals; or Dallas during the 1984 Republican Convention, Naipaul combines intellectual playfulness with sorrow, indignation, and analysis so far-reaching that it approaches prophecy. The Writer and the World reminds us that he is in a class by himself.
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Debatable- although a Nobel laureate's work.
When one reads Naipaul's nonfictional essays, and compares them with his fictional works, one is most certainly not as impressed. In this prolific collection- 550+ pages, Naipaul documents his diverse essays, on diverse topics, from India to Anguilla, from New York, to Algeria. Let me begin with the first essay, which, not surprisingly, regards a visit to the city of Calcutta. There is a slight background material- about Trinidad, and then starts the prophet-of-doomsday attitude. One is almost irked when continually perusing through words like "decaying", "morbid", "ruin". If India would actually be a dying culture, it would have by now been history. But it still persists, flourishes, and exports it culture. Naipaul is relentlessly critical of Indians, deeming them "indifferent", "primitive", etc. He lashes out at Hinduism with a sudden passionate loathing- "The barbaric rituals of Hinduism are barbaric, the idea of the holy cow is absurd." All this gives an impression of a ceaslessly pessimistic man, who is born to extract only the most troubling aspects of Indians, ignoring the democracy, ignoring the culture, ignoring the slow progress, ignoring the values- in short, making a thorn of every petal. But, one must admit, Naipaul's opinions about India are true, and being an Indian myself, it is nothing extraordinary. But of cruelty, and malice, one does not approve- Naipaul's satire on the Indian accent: "Esomerset, Eshelly, Eshakespeare", is almost as if Naipaul is on some evil mission to forever degrade common people. If writing about such extraneous incidents is your idea of humor, Mr. Naipaul, certainly we do not approve it. This attitude of rooting out the utmost filth out of a poor country, reveals how depressed Naipaul is, and how audacious, let go haughty.
But there is something almost magical about Naipaul's words, his interpretations are often profound, and his humor cultivated. The second essay, about the election in Ajmer, is captivating. At the end, you feel as if there lies a novel in the entire essay on the election, and a good revelation on the politics of India. Gradually, the essays become less profound, more documental, and more random. But one question still haunts- if Naipaul glorifies the West, and rubbishes the third world, how come most of his writings are on the third world, or non-western cultures? Why not write about Germany? The reason is that Naipaul finds material to criticize to be absent in the West- it merely serves as a model- a model of perfection, and a useful tool for deriding colonial peoples, though deriding impressively.

3-0 out of 5 stars 3.4 Stars
What can one say about V.S. Naipaul the essayist? This collection contains most of the shorter pieces that have made his reputation. There are the beginning pieces on India, and there are the well-known essays on Michael X, on Mobutu, on the collapse of Argentina in the 1970s. There are also the later pieces on the failed Grenadian revolution and on Cheddi Jagan, the Marxist Guyanan politician who was kept out of power by American and British electoral skullduggery. There are also several essays on America, including ones on Steinbeck, a surprisingly uncontemptuous piece on Norman Mailer's 1969 mayoralty campaign and a particularly perceptive piece on the 1984 Republican convention. And finally there is the concluding essay "Our Universal Civilization."

Surely there is much to support the opinion of Naipaul's enthusiastic followers who at the same time have praised him for refuting liberal sentimentalities. There is the fine readable prose and the cutting observation. One notes this in the essay about the election campaign in India where the conservative candidate spouts pseudo-Gandhian rhetoric about the purity of agriculture in a land of desperate poverty. The candidate even says that piped water would only make the women who spend several hours going back and forth to wells lazy. There is the theme of a lethal sentimentality: On the Jan Singh party "Like parties of the extreme right elsewhere, the Jan Singh dealt in anger, simplified scholarship and, above all, sentimentality." On Steinbeck: "His sentimentality, when prompted by anger and conscience, was part of his strength as a writer. Without anger or the cause of anger he writes fairy-tales." On Republican Party Ideology: "Americanism had become the conservative cause, and Americanism was most easily grasped, most ideal and most sentimental (sentimentality being important to any cause of the right) in comic books...and the lesser cinema." In the essay on the return of Peronism there are many caustic remarks against Jorge Luis Borges, about Borges' failure to critically analyze his country's past, the theme of racial degeneration in his work, and his tasteless jokes about the systematically slaughtered Argentinean Indians. Likewise, there is some truth when Naipaul says of Argentina that " be European in Argentina was to be colonial in the most damaging way. It was to be parasitic. It was to claim...the achievements and authority of Europe as one's own", even if it is more true of, say, Canada. And certainly many of the essays are very powerful: such as the essay on Michael X, a self-serving thug and hustler who prattled "Black Power" rhetoric in Trinidad before murdering two followers and being hanged for them.

One should criticize his view of Islam, starting with his use of the term "Mohammedan." Naipaul argues that the imperial conquests of Islam were especially nasty in the way that the Arab culture simply denounced the pre-existing culture into oblivion. This is an oversimplification for several reasons. First off, the examples he uses, Pakistan and Iran in 1979, are not typical even of those countries' long histories, let alone of other countries like Indonesia or Nigeria. Secondly, one can find equally boneheaded comments in the history of Christianity, whether it is of Augustine and other church fathers dismissing Aristotle and Plato, or the Protestant Reformation's lack of enthusiasm for the Renaissance. Thirdly, what about Christianity and American Indians?

Nevertheless when one looks at the essays on Mobutu's Zaire, now collapsed into brutal civil war, or at the essays on Argentina before the Dirty War or the nervous essay on the Ivory Coast before President Houphouet-Boigny apparently "successful" rule collapsed into disaster. Surely one can only praise Naipaul for his prophetic talents, for the courage of his pessimism? Quite frankly, I have some doubts. If sentimentality is unearned emotion, it should be remembered that pessimism can be unearned as well. Consider the essays, written more than thirty years ago, about Belize and Mauritius. They are just as pessimistic as the others, about mass unemployment, overpopulation and empty politics. Notwithstanding that the two small countries have remained democratic states for the past three decades, not something one would have predicted from Naipaul. The concentration on superstition and magic can be amusing: Naipaul relates a report about an old Indian sage who claimed that he was now able to walk on water, arranged an elaborate demonstration, and promptly sank. But whether it is India, or the Ivory Coast, or Argentina, Naipaul is always looking for something silly or superstitious and this palls. There is much that is depressing about Argentina: but to say that Argentina has produced nothing more than New Zealand is cheap, and Naipaul does not even bother to mention Sabato, Cortazar or Puig, who might challenge this view. It also strikes me as gross oversimplification, to say the least, that the essence of Argentine sexuality is brutal heterosexual sodomy. There is something profoundly unhelpful about all this: professional pessimists too have the luxury of having return tickets in their pockets, and when conservatives praise Naipaul one feels that it is because he grants his subjects just enough freedom to justify their condemnation into hell. ... Read more

114. The Reception of Walter Pater in Europe (The Athlone Critical Traditions Series: the Reception of British Authors in Europe)
list price: $225.00
our price: $225.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0826468462
Catlog: Book (2005-02-28)
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 799117
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Book Description

Just over a century after his death, Walter Pater's critical reputation now stands as high as it has ever been. In the English-speaking world, this has involved recovery from the widespread neglect and indifference which attended his work in the first half of the twentieth century. In Europe, however, enthusiastic disciplies such as Hugo von Hofmannsthal in the German-speaking world and Charles Du Bos in France, helped to fuel a growing awareness of his writings as central to the emergence of modernist literature. Translations of works like Imaginary Portraits, established his distinctive voice as an aesthetic critic and his novel, Marius the Epicurean, was enthusiastically received in Paris in the 1920s and published in Turin on the eve of the second world war.This collection traces the fortunes of Pater's writings in these three major literatures and their reception in Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. ... Read more

115. Walden
by Henry David Thoreau
list price: $30.00
our price: $18.90
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Asin: 0395720427
Catlog: Book (1995-09-19)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 33898
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On July 4, 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved into the cabin he had built on the shore of Walden Pond. Now, on the 150th anniversary of that event, Houghton Mifflin is proud to publish an exceptional new edition of what is perhaps the most important book in our history as a publisher. Walden: An Annotated Edition features the definitive text of the book with extensive notes on Thoreau's life and times by the distinguished biographer and critic Walter Harding. In the third chapter, Thoreau writes, "How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book?" For many readers, Walden is that book. Written a century and a half ago, it grows more meaningful every day, and whether you are reading it for the first time or the hundredth, Walter Harding's insightful comments will open your eyes to the true depths of this masterpiece. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensable for Walden readers
Walter Harding was one of the greatest Thoreau scholars. His annotations include explanations of puns I hadn't understood, sources of quotes and references in the text, and information about Thoreau's time. I also learned that one of my favorite places in Concord was referred to by Thoreau as Fairyland Pond.

The book also includes a map of the area in Thoreau's time, reproductions of HDT's manuscript pages, drawings and excerpts from his journal, and his map of Walden Pond with water depths he determined.

I wouldn't say the book is perfect--there are still a few obscure references without notes, and some notes for points that are obvious--but it's as close as anyone is likely to come.

Be sure to also read Harding's The Days of Henry Thoreau, a great biography.

1-0 out of 5 stars INSOMNIA'S CURE
I first read Solitude in high school(over 10 years ago), not as part of the regular curriculum but for US Academic Decathlon. To think about it even now still bores me. Reading Solitude may have been the most boring part of USAD, & that ain't a little bit of boredom. Thoreau, Emerson, those other guys I can barely differentiate, especially the 'fire & brimstone' types were some of the reasons I took British lit instead of American lit in college. I also took British lit rather than American because it is 800+ years vs. 200+. (Thanks Mr. M, my h.s. English lit teacher). But back to Walden.

Think of it. You decide to live in solitude for a couple of years, in the 19th century! The very idea is boring. Let's not get into no t.v., et.c. But not even the daily news? Didn't they have newspapers back then? Before some make the mistake of thinking I don't understand, I (yawn) say I can appreciate one's desire to engage himself by the near total exclusion of others. I just don't believe its something you need to read about some guy doing over 150 years ago. On the other hand, if you wanted to avoid those very interesting times, you'd do what Thoreau did if you could so afford. If not you'd read about it, to quiet the debate going on outside one person's journey of self-discovery. Specifically, if I wanted to learn more about those times I'd check up on abolitionist writings, women's suffrage, and other things from the period that were more topical.

Nevertheless, I could use a copy though, for those troublesome nights when I can't get to sleep.

P.S. Thoreau is one of those authors you list that maintains your "with it-ism" in our increasingly 'my country, right or wrong' times.

5-0 out of 5 stars What an inspiration!
Even though I live in Australia in 2004, I found this 19th century book sensational!

I cannot reccomend it highly enough: witty, intelligent, honest, articulate and timeless.

5-0 out of 5 stars the most imspirational book ever.....
When I first heard about this author in one of my classes, I felt that it was the most boring pices of information that I haveever heard. But, when I started to actually lusten to what he was actually saying it really got me thinking. I was the only onbe in my class that actually understood what he was saying in his stories. His writing has got me thinking different ways on everyday situation. I had never thought that I would start to think like this. His writing has got me to see things different than I ever thought that I would. What he did in his life is cool, going to live at a pond all by himself for about 2 years and find the essintials of life, is brilient. In resistance to civil government, I had never read better writing in my life. When he had to spend a night in jail and realized that it was not even a hard punishnment, for not paying his taxes. There are really no words that I can use that can explain my love for his writing, because it has just moved me to no end. I really wish that I could have been alive when he was so I could have gotten to know him better.

5-0 out of 5 stars The better part of a man will be soon ploughed beneath the s
Thoreau is great. Even if you don't agree with him, even if you see his contradictory nature towards his teachings, even if you can't understand him, you can't deny that he is an amazing thinker and an influential character of American history. Thoreau's quiet voice of solitude and non conformity provides refreshing alternatives of perception and observation which strengthens inner freedom and personal growth. I have read numerous essays by Thoreau and I have to say this could be the most enlightening. His ideas of progressing back to nature is beautiful inspiration to reevaluate our contemporary life.

I recommend everyone read this book...Actually I take that back...I recommend everyone Henry David Thoreau and all of his beautiful work. ... Read more

116. We Could Almost Eat Outside : An Appreciation of Life's Small Pleasures
by Sarah Hamp, Philippe Delerm
list price: $14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312203640
Catlog: Book (1999-06-19)
Publisher: Picador
Sales Rank: 421193
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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This French bestseller revels in life's small pleasures. Whether it be a croissant in the street, the Tour de France, a potluck, shelling peas, a glass of port, the smell of apples, the mobile library, a garden in August, getting your espadrilles wet, or an autumn sweater, these 34 short essays delight in the simple. In colorful, sensory language that's perfect for reading out loud, author Philippe Delerm paints a world of possibility and profound joy.

From the title essay:

It's the almost that counts, and the use of the conditional. The suggestion seems absurd at first. It's only the beginning of March and there's been nothing but rain, wind and showers all week. And now this. Since this morning, the sun's been shining with a sort of dull intensity, a calm persistence. Lunch is ready, and the table's been laid. But everything seems different somehow, even inside. The window's slightly ajar, there's an audible hum from outside and the air feels fresh.
Though it could easily be read in one sitting, this book is the kind to savor piece by piece like the delicacies of day-to-day life the author serves up as small, precious gifts. --Kathryn True ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Remembrance of Things Past
If you have read 'Joie De Vivre' by Robert Arbor and enjoyed the concentration to detail and the concept of savoring those things which we identify with our lifestyles, you will definitely want to pick up Philippe Delerm's little book of small thoughts associated with moments in his life. If you have read Clower's "Fat Fallacy" and are intrigued with the French diet and its supposed inconsistancies with current nutritional advice, after reading "We Could Almost Eat Outside", you will perhaps understand better the concept of small bites full of flavor that stay with you and rekindle memories from childhood and other stages of life. Think the anticipation on Christmas morning or the anticipated crack of freshness in the air after a new snow and comprehension will dawn -- its not the food (or whatever) its the emotion it evokes.

Delerm writes down his memories about objects and moments in time, that some readers will find difficult to relate to only because they are seemingly specific to the French culture. However, if you eliminate the brand names and the high-speed trains, these simple poetic essays will trigger Proustian thoughts in your own mind and you will seek out your own croissant eaten in the street and your own taste of Turkish Delight purchased in a bag and not a box.

Thoughtfully and beautifully rendered. If you can, read it in its original language.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
This slim volume offers up simple wisdoms of life. Translated from the French, there are very few things that do not universallly carry over into my American sensibilities. Each brief essay presents one of the small and simple pleasures of life....driving at night, autumn sweaters, picking blackberries, the first sip of beer, and hearing a loved one's voice over the phone, among others. The essays on ordering and eating a banana split and paperweights are priceless. The insight offered..that we perch on the brim of possibility, the "make-believe world pitted against the real world" awaiting our decisions While this book points out the obvious, it is never too sweet or cloying. The use of language and phrasing is beautiful, the imagery it conjures up is a joy to read. I marked many of the pages, so I could find the wonderful phrases which caught my attention and imagination. This is a writer of rare talent. This is a book I will read over and often.

5-0 out of 5 stars little taste of life...
If you are looking for a light but meaningful book you can read over and over, this is the right book you're looking for. Delerm's writing helps his readers explore the trivial but tender details in life, from a banana-split to reading on the beach; from a pullover in autumn to highway at night... he uses condensed language to depict some trinket but magical moments in ordinary living. You won't regret it. ... Read more

117. James Baldwin : Collected Essays : Notes of a Native Son / Nobody Knows My Name / The Fire Next Time / No Name in the Street / The Devil Finds Work / Other Essays (Library of America)
by James Baldwin, Toni Morrison
list price: $35.00
our price: $22.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883011523
Catlog: Book (1998-02-01)
Publisher: Library of America
Sales Rank: 136174
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Writer James Baldwin earnestly championed the civil rightsmovement in both his fiction and nonfiction, a fact which, coupled withhis extraordinary writing talent, assured not only his historicalimportance, but also his place as one of the finest African Americanwriters of his generation. Collected Essays is a comprehensivecollection of his most memorable prose, including "Stranger in theVillage," "The Harlem Ghetto," and "Many ThousandsGone." Clear in voice and vision, the essays communicate theemotions of an entire historical movement. Combining politics,prophecy, and passion, Baldwin's essays are truly as thought-provokingtoday as they were some 30 years ago. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars A great book -- A worthy part of a great series
I love James Baldwin--I think he's a tremendous writer, so Toni Morrison could hardly go wrong in selecting essays for this volume. All of the selections are excellent. Notes of a Native Son contains a touching eulogy for Richard Wright ("Alas, Poor Richard"), explaining the lonliness and problems Mr. Wright had at the end of his life. Baldwin displays his tremendous range as both a political commentator and a literary critic. The Devil Finds Work, in particular, is very insightful--and several parts humourous.

What I don't understand--and why I struck a star off this collection--is why Ms. Morrison did not include "Evidence of Things Unseen," Baldwin's analysis of the Atlanta child murders from the early eighties. Perhaps Library of America is planning later volumes of Baldwin's works--The companion volume to these essays is his "Early Novels," most notably "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "Giovani's Room." I can't imagine that Library of America would not produce a volume including Mr. Baldwin's later works--especially "Just Above my Head."

This particular edition is well worth having--despite the price. First, this is a good collection of Baldwin's essays, many of which are difficult to find. Second, the Library of America really does a commendable job in paper quality and binding. This is not a leather bound edition on 50 pound paper, so stiff you can't open it and printed so the back binding looks impressive on your bookshelf--this is tightly bound, cardboard cover that lies flat, and is easy to read. The paper is not heavy--but acid free, and tear resistant. The Library of America series are good collections that are meant to be read many times, by many people--these books hold up very well.

I am afraid that Mr. Baldwin's works and opinions may fall by the wayside as time passes. The fact that Ms. Morrison--one of our best and most respected authors--put these collections together will certainly help keep Mr. Baldwin's works alive. But if you have any interest in what it means to be African American--in the twenties, to contemporary america--through even tomorrow--You need to read and appreciate Mr. Baldwin's insights. And you will also enjoy his clear, careful, and pointed writing.

3-0 out of 5 stars review
This book was very interesting and i enjoyed the courage of a young black man to stand up for his rights.

5-0 out of 5 stars A painful, powerful experience
In Egypt, I met an extraordinary American.
"I was born in New York, but have only lived in pockets of it. In Paris, I lived in all parts of the city - on the Right Bank and on the Left, among the bourgeoisie and among les miserables, and knew all kinds of people from pimps and prostitutes in Pigalle to Egyptian bankers in Nueilly. This may sound unprincipled or even obscurely immoral: I found it healthy. I love to talk to people, all kinds of people, and almost everyone, as I hope we still know, loves a man who loves to listen," he said.
"The perpetual dealing with people very different from myself caused a shattering in me of preconceptions I scarcely knew I held. This reassessment, which can be very painful, is also very valuable."
His name is Mr. Baldwin, and I cherish this new acquaintance because his ideas have had such profound impact on my views of Egypt. I wanted to know the people, but as I reach out for them, sometimes, I'm shocked by what I see. I see people sleeping on the concrete patios along the Nile - many of them have migrated from the farmlands because they can make more money for their families if they work in Cairo. But desert nights can be bitter cold in January, and it cuts my heart. Yet, Mr. Baldwin's message is well heeded. The same problems of inner city growth that come with development in Egypt also came with development in Britain one hundred years ago. American inner city schools and slums still reflect this challenge.
Would I have walked into the slums of Chicago if I were there? Would I have strolled through the southwest side of Kansas City or east St. Louis? Would I have walked into the anti-developing city blocks of L.A. if I were in America? Of course not. So why is it that traveling abroad opens my eyes to poverty in America? Why couldn't I see it when I was there? I don't know why this happens, but James Baldwin was right - absolutely right when he said that this reassessment, which can be very painful is also very valuable.
I have been told that the housing shortage in Egypt provided the impetus for many people to move into the spacious mausoleums in the old city graveyard. The international visitors call it, "The City of the Dead," and tourists go there and gawk at poverty creating a makeshift freak show out of human suffering. Then I learned that the housing shortage in Los Angeles provided the impetus for many people to move into mausoleums, but no one goes to gawk at them. In fact, there seems to be a kind of American denial that such things could ever happen in the land of milk and honey.
As I hear of people talking about human rights violations in Egypt, I think of the title of James Baldwin's book: Nobody Knows My Name. I think of James Byrd who was dragged to death behind a pickup truck. I think of the threats of millennium violence that frightened black American families so much that they bought guns and stayed home for the New Year. I think of the tiny city in Texas who voted Spanish as their city's official language and then received death threats from all over the nation. Of course, if you asked any American about human rights violations, they would tell you that this is something that happens in China or Africa. It's a painful realization that it might happen in MY country. Growing up in the American school system, I came to idolize Abraham Lincoln's courage and George Washington's integrity. The universal ideas of human value and dignity that we believe to be inalienable are not, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so wisely told us, being applied universally in our country. These facts go against the ideals and values of our nation - they don't support the concepts of the free and the brave.
"It is a complex fate to be an American," Henry James observed. James Baldwin awakened me to that complexity in a way so subtle, so gentle and yet, so powerfully painful.
He awakened me to the hard realities of the American people, most of whom will never read or digest his work. They would dismiss him. But his vision is not to be dismissed. His writing illustrates that the responsibility of this future lies in the hands of blind people. People who refuse to see American neighborhoods and American people for what they really are. We can't improve until we accept the starting point. This lofty ideal of what we should be and blind obstinacy to what we are is killing us.
"Europe has what we do not have yet," Baldwin said. "A sense of the mysterious and inexorable limits of life, a sense, in a word, of tragedy. And we have what they sorely need: a new sense of life's possibilities."
Egypt has what we do not yet have - a clear and present sense of unity - an admiration for sacrifice for the whole of the group - the nuclear family, the extended family, the community. And we have absolutely nothing that Egypt needs, except, if you ask the younger generation: Nike shoes. In fact, this is precisely what Egyptians do not need. They do not need the destructive, greed-inspiring and greed-glorifying economic development of the West.

"In this endeavor to wed the vision of the Old World with that of the New, it is the writer, not the statesman, who is our strongest arm. Though we do not wholly believe it yet, the interior life is a real life, and the intangible dreams of people have tangible effect on the world." - James Baldwin

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
People who already like Baldwin will not have to be sold on a volume that contains all his essays. This is an incredible resource to have. My only quibble is that the book is not indexed. With a Nobel laureate as an editor, one would expect such a rudimentary tool. Those who have heard about Baldwin's powerful prose but who are afraid that they will be bored should cast aside those doubts. This collection is easily readable from cover to cover. Essays on equality for black Americans are not simply of historical interest as Baldwin displays in such essays his basically humanistic philosophy which can apply universally. Get your notebook out to take down all his fabulous quotes. Okay, now buy the book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Thought provoking; I could not put it down!
A great addition to your personal library if you are an avid collector of books by African American authors. Baldwin is thought provoking, and honest, as always. ... Read more

118. Dreamers of Dreams: Essays on Poets and Poetry
by John Simon
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 156663413X
Catlog: Book (2001-11)
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee Publisher
Sales Rank: 588648
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars not unlike a dream itself
To read John Simon's writing on poetry is to be held enthrall by a master. He doesn't waste his time or ours with theories. He doesn't believe that poetry has anything to hide behind. There was a lot I missed in school, and Simon is invaluable for catching me up with (fairly recent, as in the 20th-century) literary history. (So I'm willing to overlook the total absence of even one mention of my all-time favorite Elizabeth Bishop.) Although more famous for his scathing movie reviews, Simon is vastly more in his element as a literary critic. Which does not mean, in his case, spouting jargon. Even when he's chiding, more love shines through in this book than in anything else he's written. In fact, you may miss the "acerbic, mean" side of Simon if that's what you're accustomed to. (In fact, I don't think he's tough enough on Philip Larkin; Simon actually seems amused by Larkin's antics and disappointingly doesn't probe the essential Larkin contradiction --a political ultraconservative who loved jazz.) This collection isn't as rollickingly, savagely funny as his earlier lit volume Sheep from the Goats (a book that's devastating, hilarious and out-of-print). The introduction to Dreamers, in which Simon ruminates on and quotes at length from obscure, forgotten yet excellent poets is worth the price of the book alone. It may be the most moving, personal and incandescent passage ever to flow from Simon's pen. Pauline Kael once wrote of the British critic Paul Coates, "he leaves the dross out of criticism and goes right for the gold." The same might justly be said of John Simon. ... Read more

119. War Talk
by Arundhati Roy
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0896087247
Catlog: Book (2003-04-15)
Publisher: South End Press
Sales Rank: 12229
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As the United States pushes for war on Iraq, Arundhati Roy, the internationally acclaimed author of The God of Small Things, addresses issues of democracy and dissent, racism and empire, and war and peace in this collection of new essays.

The eloquence, passion, and political insight of Roy's political essays have added legions of readers to those already familiar with her Booker Prize-winning novel. -Invited to lecture as part of the prestigious Lannan -Foundation series on the first anniversary of the unconscionable attacks of September 11, 2001, Roy challenged those who equate dissent with being "anti-American." Her previous essays on globalization and dissent have led many to see Roy as "India's most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence" (New York Times).

War Talk collects new essays by this prolific writer. Her work highlights the global rise of religious and racial violence. From the horrific pogroms against Muslims in Gujarat, India, to U.S. demands for a war on Iraq, Roy confronts the call to militarism. Desperately working against the backdrop of the nuclear recklessness between her homeland and Pakistan, she calls into question the equation of nation and ethnicity. And throughout her essays, Roy interrogates her own roles as "writer" and "activist."

"If [Roy] continues to upset the globalization applecart like a Tom Paine pamphleteer, she will either be greatly honored or thrown in jail," wrote Pawl Hawken in Wired Magazine. In fact she was jailed in March 2002, when -India's Supreme Court found Roy in contempt of the court after months of attempting to silence her criticism of the government.

Fully annotated versions of all Roy's most recent -essays, including her acclaimed Lannan Foundation -lecture from September 2002, are included in War Talk. Arundhati Roy is the winner of the Lannan Foundation's Prize for Cultural Freedom, 2002, and will be returning to the U.S. in association with the Lannan Foundation in 2003. Roy's most recent collection of essays, Power Politics, now in its second edition, sold over 25,000 copies in its first 12 months.

... Read more

Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars A passionate, intelligent collection of essays
This is a collection of six essays on the impact and ideology of international war at the start of the new century. The first three are reprinted from magazines in India. The fourth and sixth are transcripts of talks she gave in New Mexico and Brazil. The fifth is her introduction to the reprint of Noam Chomsky's book, For Reasons of State.

Arundhati Roy is outraged by the development of casual militarization that has increased over the last decade. In her own backyard, she watches as the government of India unveils its nuclear weapons program, pretending that this will lead to peace with its neighbors. She notes the deepening violence and poverty in India and asks why her government's priorities are upside down.

This leads to her assessment of US policy, which shows the same pattern. Speaking in Brazil at the close of the World Social Forum in 2003, she links the power of US corporations to the creeping fascism of the Indian government. She describes the way they have joined forces to exploit new markets in poor countries. War Talk serves as a useful introduction to the current state of the world. Using the footnotes, you can explore other sources. Arundhati Roy's anger is palpable, and her experience as an activist outside the Western world gives her readers a valuable new perspective.

5-0 out of 5 stars Roy is always worth reading
War Talk is the most recent book of essays by author Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things). In this volume Roy continues to take on India's Big Dam project (a subject in her previous two volumes of essays), as well as violence world wide. She does not spare her native India anything and takes on the War Against Terror and the hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy. It is always a pleasure to ready Roy's work. She gives out a viewpoint of a citizen from another country and brings a new voice to the table. She condemns how Americans are presented information and understands that it is difficult to get truly factual from the press (any press). She also praises Noam Chomsky for his work in revealing some of the lies that are fed to Americans by the United States government. I am not informed enough to know anything about the accuracy of her statements regarding U.S. policy, but Roy has a viewpoint that should be considered. I feel that the biggest value in Roy's essays comes in revealing information about Indian politics and Indian life. I know very little about India, and Roy is a valuable source of information and makes me want to learn more about this ancient (yet young) nation.

4-0 out of 5 stars Arundhati takes on nthe big guns...
In this collection of essays, Arundhati takes on the big guns and war profiteers of past and present in short... Her thoughts on government in India can be echoed around the world most easily...

My favorite lines being:
"Right now we're sipping from a poisoned chalice - a flawed democracy laced with religious fascism. Pure arsenic"...

I like that she brings it on to all those who are opressing the people's around the world, commiting genocide (past and present) with a sense of compassion, honesty and truth...

Plus she not only says what's wrong in the world today, but makes thoughts on how it can be made better in a real way - not some utopia out there in neverland...

I look forward to reading more of what she writes, past and future, as this is the first book I picked up of hers... Which I thoroughly not only for it's content, but for it's sense of writing style - very eloquent and poetic - Savannah Skye...

3-0 out of 5 stars Brave, venomous like a problem child
Arundhati Roy is like an angry teenager lashing out at her parents. May be right, but immature. So much anger in pointing out the negative points of the new world order, but offering no solution. In her flowing style packed with anger, she criticizes everything and everyone who is powerful - from Indian prime minister to US president to the media.

She sounds like a left-liberal in her speeches and essays. Her words are filled with the same kind of stuff that fascists must be using to herd their army. In that sense, there is no difference between being a fascist and being a left extremist. Both are equally dangerous. In my opinion, if you just point out the problems without offering a solution, it can only be fatal.

Like a preacher who quotes just the verses from the Bible that he can play upon, Roy quotes words from people like George Bush or Vajpayee and plays upon them to project the negative version of it. Like the preacher, she gives her audience (which must be mostly leftists who are already disgruntled) what they want to hear. It can't be anything but dangerous.

I must say this is a good read if you keep your head on the shoulder and be realistic and read it critically. If this book contains what you always wanted to hear, you are in trouble.

2-0 out of 5 stars Please stick to fiction, Ms Roy.
No doubt that the author is a master of prose and interweaves words poetically like no other. I'm a big fan and I picked up this book seeing her name on the cover.
But presenting real facts is completly another ball game. I'm a liberal and against war too, but this book goes to such an extreme in left-liberalism and presenting half cooked facts, that I was grossly disappointed.

This book is a collection of essays which has been written a while ago and only a couple are recent, some of them lifted directly from her previous book, power politics. It is nothing but an attack on American policies and BJP, the ruling party of India. Factwise, this book presents nothing new. It is very much the thoughts of the author coming out from her narrow perspective with no alternatives or solutions. And considering she was arrested once by the ruling party in India, the venom outpouring against them is quite obvious.

On the other hand, I appreciate her courage to bring up the topic of inherent injustice of globalization and development and the travails of war. But I would advice others to spend their money elsewhere. ... Read more

120. Literature with Free ARIEL CD-ROM
by RobertDiYanni
list price: $72.50
our price: $72.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0072996242
Catlog: Book (2004-04-06)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
Sales Rank: 579558
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Book Description

Now packaged with the free ARIEL CD-ROM, this anthology offers a lively introduction to the study of fiction, poetry, and drama, and is appropriate for introduction to literature courses as well as literature-based composition courses.

Known for its clear presentation of the formal elements of literary analysis, DiYanni's Literature effectively balances classical, modern, and contemporary works across the three major genres, blending well-known writers with a diverse gathering of newer, international figures. This literary breadth is supplemented by extensive coverage of writing about literature, making DiYanni an excellent resource for literature instructors who want a full-featured anthology.
... Read more

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