Robert L. O’Connell’s Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman includes a photograph of the celebrated Civil War general with his staff. While the other men strike classic poses and gaze into the middle distance, Sherman sits slightly slumped, legs crossed, jacket unbuttoned, glittering eyes focused directly on the camera. It fits with the popular notion of Sherman, the man who invented “modern war” and whose soldiers burned a path of destruction through the American South.
Whether it’s from high school or university, graduation is a milestone that’s certainly cause for celebration, but with it can come a new set of concerns—big-time worries about how to make the grade in college or in the real world. Whether your grad needs direction or already possesses a five-year plan, three new books offer plenty of inspiration, encouragement and practical advice.
Sometimes things happen in life that change one’s perspective. Literally. For Gail Caldwell, hip surgery made her five-eighths of an inch taller. It was a new view, and she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
It’s hard to know whether to call Boyd Varty’s Cathedral of the Wild a memoir, a true adventure story or a self-help book. All I know is that it made me cry with its hard-won truths about human and animal nature, distilled by Varty from his experiences living on Londolozi, the game reserve his family runs in South Africa.
African Americans have been struggling for independence, equality and respect from the moment they were brought to the New World in chains. As that struggle continues today, it’s instructive to look back on our turbulent history to learn from the past and hopefully improve on the future. The five books featured here can help us to do just that, examining historical themes that serve as milestones on the journey of progress.
After writing three critically acclaimed novels, Gary Steyngart turned to memoir. Little Failure, published this month, is an unsparing, often funny, account of Steyngart’s anxiety-ridden life from his early childhood in Russia, through his family’s immigration to Queens, New York, and ending with the publication of his first novel. Our reading of the memoir raised some additional questions, which Shteyngart answered via email.
Near the end of his entrancing and unsparing memoir, Gary Shteyngart —author of three exuberant, award-winning novels—writes, “On so many occasions in my novels I have approached a certain truth only to turn away from it, only to point my finger and laugh at it and then scurry back to safety. In this book, I promised myself I would not point the finger. My laughter would be...
Arthur Schlesinger Jr. played a unique role in American life. The author of many acclaimed works of American history and biography (his accolades included two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, the Francis Parkman Prize and the Frederic Bancroft Prize), he also enthusiastically embraced the role of friend and confidant to significant movers and shakers on the national political scene. He was a speechwriter and adviser to presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, and is probably best known for his position as a special assistant to President John F. Kennedy.
Anyone who feels a bit sorry for Prince Charles because he has been opening flower shows for decades while his mother reigns as queen should consider the case of his ancestor: Britain was very lucky indeed that Albert Edward, eldest son of Queen Victoria, inherited the throne when he was nearly 60 instead of, say, when he was 30.As a young man, King Edward VII, known to family and friends as...
Arthur Schlesinger Jr. carved out a unique role for himself in American life. The author of acclaimed works of award-winning American history and biography (including two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Book Awards), he also enthusiastically embraced the role of friend and confidant to significant movers and shakers on the national political stage. He was one of the founders of Americans for...