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Preview: washingtonpost.com - Jonathan Yardley

washingtonpost.com - Jonathan Yardley





 



Thomas E. Kennedy's "Falling Sideways"

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 10:18:02 EDT

The second novel in Thomas E. Kennedy's Copenhagen Quartet is a satire of men and women at work.


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Thomas E. Kennedy's "Falling Sideways"

Sun, 13 Mar 2011 00:00:00 EST

A year ago Thomas E. Kennedy emerged from undeserved obscurity with the English-language publication of "In the Company of Angels," the first novel in what he calls his "Copenhagen Quartet." An American now in his mid-60s and a longtime resident of Copenhagen, he has been widely published in Euro...



Dominic Sandbrook's "Mad as Hell," on rise of populist right

Sun, 06 Mar 2011 00:00:00 EST

Dominic Sandbrook is a young British historian whose first book, the well-received √"Eugene McCarthy: The Rise and Fall of Postwar American Liberalism" (√2004), established the theme that he now examines on a broader canvas in "Mad as Hell." Taking his title from the famous chant in the √19...


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Dominic Sandbrook's "Mad as Hell," on rise of populist right

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:45:03 EST

MAD AS HELL The Crisis of the 1970s and the Rise of the Populist Right By Dominic Sandbrook Knopf. 506 pp. $35 Dominic Sandbrook is a young British historian whose first book, the well-received "Eugene McCarthy: The Rise and Fall of Postwar American Liberalism" (2004), established the theme th...
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Jonathan Gill's "Harlem"

Sun, 20 Feb 2011 00:00:00 EST

In September 1609 the EnglishDutch explorer Henrydrick Hudson, en route - or so he hoped - to China in ahis ship belonging to the Dutch East India Company and called the



Yardley reviews Jonathan Gill's "Harlem"

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 18:49:01 EST

HARLEM The Four Hundred Year History from Dutch Village to Capital of Black America By Jonathan Gill Grove. 520 pp. $29.95 In September 1609 the English explorer Henry Hudson, en route - or so he hoped - to China in a ship belonging to the Dutch East India Company and called the Half Moon, ste...



"The Letters of Bruce Chatwin"

Sun, 13 Feb 2011 00:00:00 EST

With the publication in 1977 of his first book, "In Patagonia," the virtually unknown British writer Bruce Chatwin became an instant literary celebrity, and remained one until his death 11 years later of complications arising from AIDS. Today, more than two decades later, his star has dimmed a bi...


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"The Letters of Bruce Chatwin"

Fri, 11 Feb 2011 10:41:00 EST

UNDER THE SUN The Letters of Bruce Chatwin Selected and edited by Elizabeth Chatwin and Nicholas Shakespeare Viking. 554 pp. $35 With the publication in 1977 of his first book, "In Patagonia," the virtually unknown British writer Bruce Chatwin became an instant literary celebrity, and remained...
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"Livia: Empress of Rome," by Matthew Dennison is a biography of Emperor Augustus' second wife.

Sun, 06 Feb 2011 00:00:00 EST

The first six episodes of the British Broadcasting Service's extraordinary adaptation of Robert Graves's equally extraordinary novel "I, Claudius," first broadcast in 1976, have at their center not the Emperor Augustus or his successor, Tiberius, but Livia Augusta, wife of the first and mother of...



"Livia: Empress of Rome," by Matthew Dennison is a biography of Emperor Augustus' second wife.

Fri, 04 Feb 2011 10:57:00 EST

LIVIA, EMPRESS OF ROME A Biography By Matthew Dennison St. Martin's 320 pp. $27.99 The first six episodes of the British Broadcasting Service's extraordinary adaptation of Robert Graves's equally extraordinary novel "I, Claudius," first broadcast in 1976, have at their center not the Emperor ...



Rebel slaves, silenced

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 00:00:00 EST

Reading Daniel Rasmussen's interesting if flawed account of a violent slave uprising in Louisiana in 1811, I found myself repeatedly recalling Samuel Johnson's dictum on women in the pulpit. The good doctor's words are totally incorrect, of course, but when one considers that the author of this b...



Daniel Rasmussen's "American Uprising" a flawed account of 1811 slave rebellion

Fri, 28 Jan 2011 12:19:02 EST

AMERICAN UPRISING The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt By Daniel Rasmussen Harper. 276 pp. $26.99 Reading Daniel Rasmussen's interesting if flawed account of a violent slave uprising in Louisiana in 1811, I found myself repeatedly recalling Samuel Johnson's dictum on women in the...
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Yardley reviews "Passport to Peking"

Fri, 21 Jan 2011 10:28:00 EST

PASSPORT TO PEKING A Very British Mission to Mao's China By Patrick Wright Oxford Univ. 591 pp. $34.95 In September 1954, Patrick Wright reports, "several planeloads of Britons gathered in from various sometimes very loosely defined positions on the left of the political spectrum" flew from En...



Childhood in a minor key

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 00:00:00 EST

Rodney Crowell's memoir of his boyhood in southeast Texas is a wonder: wistful and profane, heartbreaking and hilarious, loving and angry, proud and self-lacerating. Best known as a composer and performer of country and folk music, that can be characterized AS in any number of ways, most of which...



Review of Rodney Crowell's memoir "Chinaberry Sidewalks"

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 12:48:02 EST

CHINABERRY SIDEWALKS By Rodney Crowell Knopf. 259 pp. $24.95 Rodney Crowell's memoir of his boyhood in southeast Texas is a wonder: wistful and profane, heartbreaking and hilarious, loving and angry, proud and self-lacerating. Best known as a composer and performer of country and folk music, Cr...



Jonathan Yardley's picks for the best books of 2010

Fri, 10 Dec 2010 12:11:01 EST

This year the fiction part of my personal selection of the year's best books is shorter than ever: only two novels, alas. This reflects my disenchantment with what passes for American literary fiction these days, a subject upon which I've remarked in this space in the past, as well as the simple ...
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Louis Auchincloss's "A Voice From Old New York," reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Fri, 03 Dec 2010 16:07:01 EST

A VOICE FROM OLD NEW YORK A Memoir of My Youth By Louis Auchincloss Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 203 pp. $25 Louis Auchincloss, who died last January at the age of 92, had one of the most remarkable careers in American literature. Beginning in 1947 with the publication of his first novel, "The Indi...



Carlos Eire's Cuban refugee memoir, reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 15:53:00 EST

Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy



Mr. Clemens, in his own words

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 21:34:25 EST

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN Volume 1 Edited by Harriet Elinor Smith Univ. of California. 716 pp. $34.95 Hard upon a fat dose of advance publicity - including a cover story in Newsweek and a front-page report in the New York Times - here at last is the first volume of the "Autobiography of Mark T...


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Mr. Clemens, in his own words

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 14:06:00 EST

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN Volume 1 Edited by Harriet Elinor Smith Univ. of California. 716 pp. $34.95 Hard upon a fat dose of advance publicity - including a cover story in Newsweek and a front-page report in the New York Times - here at last is the first volume of the "Autobiography of Mark Tw...
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George W. Bush's 'Decision Points': 'Competent, readable and flat'

Mon, 08 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EST

The presidential memoir as it has evolved, especially in the wake of recent presidencies, is not a memoir as the term is commonly understood but an attempt to write history before the historians get their hands on it.


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Last letters from a master

Sun, 07 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EDT

SAUL BELLOW Letters Edited by Benjamin Taylor Viking. 571 pp. $35


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Linguistically, America is A-OK

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

OK The Improbable History of America's Greatest Word



Review of "Hi-De-Ho," Alyn Shipton's biography of Cab Calloway

Sun, 24 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Alyn Shipton does a workmanlike if uninspired job in his biography of the tough-to-know Cab Calloway.
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Review of "The Noel Coward Reader," edited by Barry Day

Sun, 17 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

THE NOEL COWARD READER Edited by Barry Day Knopf. 596 pp. $39.95



Review of Gordon Campbell's 'Bible,' about the King James Version

Sun, 10 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

"Bible" covers the history of the KJV from its inception to the present day, with about a third of the text devoted to the translators and their labors.


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Roger Moorhouse's "Berlin at War," reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Sun, 03 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

BERLIN AT WAR By Roger Moorhouse Basic. 432 pp. $29.95



Engineer of his own defeat: Jimmy Carter's "White House Diary"

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Jonathan Yardley says that two new books on Jimmy Carter (one being his diary) show that he was the wrong man for the wrong time.
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Jonathan Yardley reviews "The Junior Officers' Reading Club"

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

In significant measure "The Junior Officers' Reading Club," first published last year in England when Hennessey was 27 years old, is intended to bring down "the wall that's been quietly built between those of us who are here [in Afghanistan] and have lived these things and everybody else, no matter how close to us they previously were."



Review of Richard Overy's "1939: Countdown to War"

Sun, 12 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

This exceptionally lucid, concise and authoritative book (which publishes at the end of September) tells the story of "the extraordinary ten days of drama that separated the conclusion of the German-Soviet [non-aggression] pact early in the morning of 24 August [1939] and the late afternoon of 3 September when France joined Britain in declaring war on Germany."


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John Julius Norwich's memoir, "Trying to Please," reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Sun, 05 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

"Trying to Please" is an absolutely delicious book, in part because Norwich writes so fluidly and engagingly, in part because he has been to so many places and done so many interesting things, and in no small part because he happens to be the only child of one of the most famous and mythologized couples of the first half of the 20th century.



Michael Weinreb's book on 1980s athletes, reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Sun, 29 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Michael Weinreb traces the transformation of the modern athlete to the mid-'80s with "Bigger Than the Game."
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Lucy Worsley's "The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue at Kensington Palace"

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

As inspiration for this account of life in the 18th-century Georgian court, Lucy Worsley takes the "portraits of forty-five royal servants that look down upon palace visitors from the walls and ceiling of the King's Grand Staircase" in Kensington Palace, best known today as the final residence of Princess Diana.



Bi Feiyu's "Three Sisters," reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Sun, 15 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

This engaging novel about the inhabitants of Wang Family Village doesn't pack a great deal of weight, but it should be useful and instructive for Western readers because it documents in palpably human terms the low value accorded the lives of women in China and the deep divide in that country between rural and urban areas.



Book review of 'Composed,' a memoir by singer Rosanne Cash

Sun, 08 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

As by now you doubtless have figured out, from the passages quoted, Rosanne Cash isn't just a writer and performer of songs, she's a writer, period.


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Eric Jaffe's "The King's Best Highway" reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

THE KING'S BEST HIGHWAY The Lost History of the Boston Post Road, the Route That Made America By Eric Jaffe Scribner. 322 pp. $27.50 W hat eventually became known as the Post Road from Boston to New York -- or, if you lived at the New York end of it, as the Boston Post Road -- began in the early ...
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Ivan Doig's "Work Song," reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Sun, 18 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

WORK SONG By Ivan Doig Riverhead. 275 pp. $25.95 I van Doig, who turned 71 three weeks ago, has had an interesting, productive life. A native of Montana, he has worked as a reporter, editorialist, rancher and magazine editor. He has lived in Seattle for many years, but Montana remains the central...



Book review of "The Sultan's Shadow," about a 19th-century Arab princess.

Sun, 11 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

THE SULTAN'S SHADOW One Family's Rule at the Crossroads of East and West By Christiane Bird Random House. 374 pp. $28 Christiane Bird's account of the Al Busaidi sultans in Oman and Zanzibar during the 19th century is, she says, "a tale rich with modern-day themes: Islam vs. Christianity, religio...


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Bruce Watson's "Freedom Summer," reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Sun, 04 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

FREEDOM SUMMER The Savage Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy By Bruce Watson Viking. 369 pp. $27.95 It was known as the "long, hot summer," the place being Mississippi and the time being 1964. That the phrase came from the work of the state's most famous and distinguis...



Book review of "Flatiron," about a Manhattan landmark

Sun, 27 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

THE FLATIRON The New York Landmark and the Incomparable City That Arose With It By Alice Sparberg Alexiou Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's. 298 pp. $26.99 The neoclassical Beaux-Arts movement in American architecture reached its peak around the turn of the 19th century, which happened to coincide with a...
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John Water's "Role Models," reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Sun, 20 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

As evidence that John Waters is in a nostalgic mood, we now have "Role Models," in which he pays tribute to various men and women who in one way or another helped him become the man he is. I



'The Wagon,' by Martin Preib, essays on being a cop in Chicago

Sun, 13 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

The first three essays in Preib's fine book -- the title essay, "Body Bags," and one called "Studio Apartments" -- are about this singularly uncongenial task and the occasional surprises it yields.



Binka le Breton's "Where the Road Ends," a memoir of moving to Brazil

Sun, 06 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

WHERE THE ROAD ENDS A Home in the Brazilian Rainforest



Harvey G. Cohen's "Duke Ellington's America," reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Sun, 30 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

This account of the life and times of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington -- by far the most distinguished and important native son of Washington, D.C. -- is maddeningly overlong, mindlessly repetitious and, for all that, undeniably valuable.
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Book review: Robert McCrum's 'Globish'

Sun, 23 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Reasonably enough, McCrum dates the beginning of the "new global culture" to 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall, after which emerged "the worldwide cultural revolution that would become Globish . . . the worldwide dialect of the third millennium."



Jonathan Yardley reviews "Get Capone," by Jonathan Eig

Sun, 16 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

In Jonathan Eig's examination of Al Capone, he does something few biographers have done: he's humanized him.



Book World: 'A Great Unrecorded History,' by Wendy Moffat, reviewed by Jonathan Yardley

Sun, 09 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Moffat has done a lot of work and unearthed some juicy little tidbits of gossip, but there is nothing "new" about this life of Forster except some tidbits.



Book review: Jonathan Yardley on "Innocent," by Scott Turow

Sun, 02 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Scott Turow's sequel to his hit "Presumed Innocent" returns its major characters for another thoughtful, intelligent legal novel.
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Jonathan Yardley reviews "Helluva Town," by Richard Goldstein

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

It's an interesting story, even an exciting one, but Goldstein doesn't make much of it. There's no narrative line to "Helluva Town" -- it's arranged in self-contained clumps -- and at times his breathless prose resembles nothing so much as the tabloid gossip merchants of the period, Cholly Knickerbocker and Earl Wilson.


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Jonathan Yardley reviews 'The Publisher,' by Alan Brinkley

Sun, 18 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

THE PUBLISHER Henry Luce and His American Century By Alan Brinkley


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