Wednesday, July 29, 2015 Av 13, 5775
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What do we ask of an art book? On the most basic level, you might expect to gain a certain amount of aesthetic pleasure from perusing such a volume, the chance to leisurely dwell over works you might never actually see in your lifetime, very often lovingly reproduced on heavy stock paper that brings out all the hues and tonal...
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Or when is it enough: A biographer's dilemma
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When Florence Noiville's Isaac B. Singer: A Life arrived in my office, just the look of the book -- it's sheer lack of heft -- made me sit up and take notice. Here was the biography of a major 20th-century writer -- a Nobel Prize winner, at that -- and the volume topped off, with index, at under 200 pages...
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Daveed Gartenstein-Ross -- a secular Jew turned radical Muslim turned practicing Christian turned counterterrorism consultant -- clearly has one of those "where do I begin?" kind of life stories. But a far more difficult question -- given the fact that Gartenstein-Ross' ideas about radical Islam and terrorism are being taken quite seriously by major publications -- is: What implications does...
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When you think of great works of modern architecture, the first things that likely come to mind are the towering skyscrapers of New York or Chicago, or the great variety of eclectic homes built for special clients, like Frank Lloyd Wright's monumental Fallingwater, commissioned by a Pittsburgh department-store magnate and set deep in the woods of western Pennsylvania. But another...
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Levi trumps Darwin, somewhat sadly, of course
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Several months ago, the Royal Institution of Great Britain did an astonishing but wholly appropriate thing: It named Primo Levi's The Periodic Table as the "best science book ever written." The Levi volume, which is made up of 21 sections, each tied to one of the elements of the periodic table, beat out estimable works by James Watson, one of...
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