The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security by Bartholomew Sparrow In writing The Strategist, Bartholomew Sparrow has demonstrated that his talents as a biographer match his skill as a scholar. Cautious and careful, in telling the life and national security career of the highly regarded Brent Scowcroft, Sparrow […] Read more »

Two Mini Reviews

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] I have a tremendous backlog of good books to review that I have read in recent months and I am facing the fact that it is dubious that I will ever to get to feature most of them here.  As a stopgap, I am going to try a few mini-reviews […] Read more »

Early Endorsement

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a “zen“] Stalin: Volume I. Paradoxes of Power 1878-1928 by Stephen Kotkin I’ve read quite a bit about old Uncle Joe. Most of the major biographies of Stalin sit on my shelf, including those from Adam Ulam, Roy Medvedev, Robert Tucker, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Dimitri Volkogonov and other historians more obscure. I’ve […] Read more »

REVIEW: The Orientalist by Tom Reiss

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] The Orientalist by Tom Reiss  Some biographies are as much about the era or the milieu as the man. The Orientalist is one of them. This is not to say that Tom Reiss has written a bad book. On the contrary, it is an enlightening and informative one, even for [...] Read more »

REVIEW: American Spartan by Ann Scott Tyson

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen'] American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant by Ann Scott Tyson  When I first posted that I had received a review copy of American Spartan from Callie, it stirred a vigorous debate in the comments section and also a flurry of email offline to me from [...] Read more »

A racist form of Odinism and the Kansas shootings

[ by Charles Cameron -- still convinced we don't known nearly enough about religion -- with a quick look at the Kansas shooting ] . The victims: The victims of the Overland Park Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom shootings weren’t even Jewish, they were Christians — as the NYT reported: A few hours later, [...] Read more »

Yet More Biographies…..

      Alexander The Great by Robin Lane Fox   Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris  Shadow Warrior: William Egan Colby and the CIA  by Randall Woods  The first, was one of the works cited by Paul Cartledge in his own biography of Alexander the Great. Fox is an eminent historian at Oxford, now emeritus and his [...] Read more »

Heavy breathing on the line: Crouching hero, Hidden nitwit

[dots connected by Lynn C. Rees] Sigh What did Lucius Aemilius Paullus know and when did he know it? Colonel Hamilton Alexander Hamilton thought he knew. And who is Colonel Hamilton (as he so liked to be called) that he should know? Not (then) Colonel Hamilton Recommendations on LinkedIn? Glowing: Je considère Napoleon, Fox, et [...] Read more »