Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunday Book Reviews

Witnesses of War: Children's Lives under the Nazis by Nicholas Stargardt. Reviewed in the Baltimore Sun by Michael Ollove: "In comprehensively studying a population defined not by race, religion or nationality but by age, Stargardt has added considerably and imaginatively to the scholarship of the Holocaust and war. With vivid, muscular prose, he ranges across the experience of wartime life under the Nazis, which by no means held children harmless. They were subjected to fearsome Allied bombings, forced labor, deportations, the violents deaths of parents and siblings, brutalization by enemies, starvation. And extermination."

Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago by Douglas H. Erwin. Reviewed in the Washington Post by Joshua Foer: "Extinction -- written, it seems, both to persuade his colleagues and to educate a lay audience -- is told from the perspective of a forensic scientist trying to piece together a quarter-billion-year-old crime scene from an impossibly scant body of clues. It unfolds as a sort of geological mystery story."

The Making of the American Conservative Mind: National Review and Its Times by Jeffrey Hart and Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy by Bruce Bartlett. Reviewed in the New York Times by George Will: "Jeffrey Hart's "Making of the American Conservative Mind" is a relaxed amble along conservatism's path to the present. Bruce Bartlett's "Impostor" is symptomatic of the way many conservatives developed a thirst for fights over ideological purity during the wilderness years, and today slake that thirst by fighting one another. They do so partly because liberalism, in its current flaccidness, offers less satisfying intellectual combat than conservatives can have intramurally. Bartlett is angry as a hornet but, like a hornet, he stings indiscriminately."

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