John Updike: A Critical Biography

Praeger #ad - One of the world's greatest writers, John Updike chronicled America for more than five decades. The book disputes the common misperception of updike as merely a chronicler of suburban, middle-class America by focusing on his novels and stories that explore the wider world, from the groundbreaking The Coup 1978 to Terrorist 2006.

Popular culture scholar bob Batchelor asks readers to reassess Updike's career by tracing his transformation over half a century of writing. This work provides the first detailed examination of Updike's body of criticism, poetry, and journalism, and shows how that work played a central role in transforming his novels.

John Updike: A Critical Biography #ad - This book examines the essence of Updike's writing, prose, propelling our understanding of his award-winning fiction, and poetry. Widely considered "america's man of letters, " John Updike is a prolific novelist and critic with an unprecedented range of work across more than 50 years. No author has ever written from the variety of vantages or spanned topics like Updike did.

Despite being widely recognized as one of the nation's literary greats, scholars have largely ignored Updike's vast catalog of work outside the Rabbit tetralogy.


Hawthorne: A Life

Random House #ad - Handsome, almost frighteningly aloof until he was approached, then playful, cordial, reserved, Nathaniel Hawthorne was as mercurial and double-edged as his writing. Here are his idyllic marriage to the youngest and prettiest of the Peabody sisters and his longtime friendships, including with Margaret Fuller, the notorious feminist writer and intellectual.

Here too is hawthorne at the end of his days, revered as a genius, but considered as well to be an embarrassing puzzle by the Boston intelligentsia, isolated by fiercely held political loyalties that placed him against the Civil War and the currents of his time. Brenda wineapple navigates the high tides and chill undercurrents of Hawthorne’s fascinating life and work with clarity, nuance, and insight.

Hawthorne: A Life #ad - He always puts himself in his books, ” said his sister-in-law Mary Mann, “he cannot help it. His life, was extraordinary, like his work, a play of light and shadow. In this major new biography of hawthorne, unlike them, the first in more than a decade, fourteenth president of the united states and arguably one of its worst; friend to Emerson and Thoreau and Melville who, brings him brilliantly alive: an exquisite writer who shoveled dung in an attempt to found a new utopia at Brook Farm and then excoriated the community or his attraction to it in caustic satire; the confidant of Franklin Pierce, Brenda Wineapple, made fun of Abraham Lincoln and who, acclaimed biographer of Janet Flanner and Gertrude and Leo Stein “Luminous”–Richard Howard, wrote compellingly of women, also unlike them, deeply identifying with them–he was the first major American writer to create erotic female characters.

Deep as dante, ” Herman Melville said. In him, the quest of his generation for an authentically American voice bears disquieting fruit. Here is the man rooted in salem, of an old pre-Revolutionary family, Massachusetts, reared partly in the wilds of western Maine, then schooled along with Longfellow at Bowdoin College.


Demagoguery and Democracy

The Experiment #ad - It erodes rational debate, so that intelligent policymaking grinds to a halt. A clear-eyed guide to demagoguery—and how we can defeat it  What is demagoguery? Some demagogues are easy to spot: They rise to power through pandering, charisma, and prejudice. The key to resisting demagoguery is to name it when you see it—and to know where it leads.

. But, as professor patricia Roberts-Miller explains, a demagogue is anyone who reduces all questions to us vs. Them. Why is it dangerous? Demagoguery is democracy’s greatest threat. The idea that we never fall for it—that all the blame lies with them—is equally dangerous. How can we stop it? Demagogues follow predictable patterns in what they say and do to gain power.


How Democracies Die

Broadway Books #ad - Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, such as the judiciary and the press, steady weakening of critical institutions, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one.

It is fact based. Steven levitsky and daniel Ziblatt, two of the most respected scholars in the field of democracy studies, offer just that. The washington post“where levitsky and ziblatt make their mark is in weaving together political science and historical analysis of both domestic and international democratic crises; in doing so, they expand the conversation beyond Trump and before him, to other countries and to the deep structure of American democracy and politics.

How Democracies Die #ad - Ezra klein,  vox“if you only read one book for the rest of the year, read How Democracies Die. Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, to the American South during Jim Crow, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, and Venezuela, Turkey, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.

Praise for how democracies Die“What we desperately need is a sober, dispassionate look at the current state of affairs. The best commentary on our politics, no contest. Michael morrell, former acting director of the central Intelligence Agency via Twitter“A smart and deeply informed book about the ways in which democracy is being undermined in dozens of countries around the world, and in ways that are perfectly legal.

Fareed zakaria,  CNN.