book review

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

  Author: George Packer (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2013) Reviewed by Theresa Forsman           In the prologue to The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, author George Packer sets the scene:  “No one can say when the unwinding began—when the coil that held Americans together in its secure and
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My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

Author: Ari Shavit (Spiegel and Grau/Random House, New York, 2013) Reviewed by Doris Friedensohn         Ari Shavit, the left-wing Israeli journalist, is an uncommonly brave writer. In My Promised Land (2013), he celebrates the remarkable achievements of Israelis – – in turning a Middle Eastern desert
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Mortality

  Author: Christopher Hitchens (2012, Twelve, Hachette Book Group) Reviewed by Theresa Forsman             Christopher Hitchens took on death much the same way he took on life—with an unsparing, combative gaze, an absence of sentimentality, and a deep need to figure it out by writing it down. Mortality is what he
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The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society

Authors: Judith K. Brodsky and Ferris Olin (2012, Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art) Reviewed by Doris Friedensohn         Timing, as we know, is (almost) everything. This is the case in national elections, peace overtures, Academy Awards, and what we choose to read. In 2007, when Judith K. Brodsky
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Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier

  Author: Robert Emmons (2007, Houghton Mifflin) Reviewed by Marc Bernstein             I discovered Robert Emmons’ book, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, at a difficult moment in my life.  My wife had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; one doctor gave her six to nine
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Not Working: The Stories Behind the Unemployment Statistics

  Author D.W. Gibson (2012, Penguin Books) Reviewed by Theresa Forsman          More than 12 million Americans are unemployed today. That’s 12 million stories of being laid off, fired, riffed or downsized, 12 million stories of what happens when the job goes away. Sixty of those stories, from Southern California
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