Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mid-Week Review of Book Reviews

From the Boston Review (of Books):

1. A fairly illuminating review of the new Mark Twain autobiography, finally being released in multiple and relatively complete volumes. It is a good introduction to the man behind the legend behind the writer. I too had been struck over the years by the vehemence of Twain's private railings against American imperialism and before that Gilded Age plutocracy. I was struck because he mostly refused to be critical in public, and was too vain in wanting to avoid too much controversy that might have undermined his career as a writer.

2. Here is an outstanding review of Robin D.G. Kelley's biography of Thelonious Monk. It's what people need to know about Monk--especially younger folks just "getting into" classic straight ahead jazz.

3. This is a provocative article that begins to upset our usual understanding of ants and ant colonies, and along the way, gives us an interesting perspective of E.O. Wilson's interesting novel about ant colonies.

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