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Debt: The First 5...
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In Times of War by Neal Storrs
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Golden Light by James B. Kirk
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I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Both James Kirks have done an extraordinary job of teasing out and elucidating, from diary entries of 20 and 30 words, the daring, dangerous, exciting, romantic life of young captain Thomas Rose Lake, durin ...more
Golden Light by James B. Kirk
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Golden Light by James B. Kirk
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I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Both James Kirks have done an extraordinary job of teasing out and elucidating, from diary entries of 20 and 30 words, the daring, dangerous, exciting, romantic life of young captain Thomas Rose Lake, durin ...more
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Golden Light by James B. Kirk
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I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Both James Kirks have done an extraordinary job of teasing out and elucidating, from diary entries of 20 and 30 words, the daring, dangerous, exciting, romantic life of young captain Thomas Rose Lake, durin ...more
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The Twain Shall Meet by Susan Madeline Bailey
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Treacherous Beauty by Stephen H. Case
"This book is an important addition to my personal study of the life of Benedict Arnold. The book clearly lays to rest any notion that Peggy Shippen Arnold was an innocent bystander to her husband's treason. This book makes a serious case that Arno..." Read more of this review »
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Lord of the Flies by William Golding
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Bless the Beasts and Children by Glendon Swarthout
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Martin Amis
“A sense of humor is a serious business; and it isn't funny, not having one. Watch the humorless closely: the cocked and furtive way they monitor all conversation, their flashes of panic as irony or exaggeration eludes them, the relief with which they submit to the meaningless babble of unanimous laughter. The humorless can programme themselves to relish situations of human farce or slapstick — and that's about it. They are handicapped in the head, or mentally 'challenged', as Americans say (euphemism itself being a denial of humour). The trouble is that the challenge wins, every time, hands down. The humorless have no idea what is going on and can't make sense of anything at all.”
Martin Amis, The War against Cliché: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000

Martin Amis
“But now it seems clear that literary criticism was inherently doomed. Explicitly or otherwise it had based itself on a structure of echelons and hierarchies; it was about the talent elite. And the structure atomized as soon as the forces of democratization gave their next concerted push.

Those forces – incomparably the most potent in our culture – have gone on pushing. And they are now running up against a natural barrier. Some citadels, true, have proved stormable. You can become rich without having any talent (via the scratchcard and the rollover jackpot). You can become famous without having any talent (by abasing yourself on some TV nerdathon; a clear improvement on the older method of simply killing a celebrity and inheriting the aura). But you cannot become talented without having any talent. Therefore, talent must go.

Literary criticism, now almost entirely confined to the universities, thus moves against talent by moving against the canon. Academic preferment will not come from a respectful study of Wordsworth’s poetics; it will come from a challenging study of his politics – his attitude toward the poor, say, or his unconscious ‘valorization’ of Napoleon; and it will come still faster if you ignore Wordsworth and elevate some (justly) neglected contemporary, by which process the canon may be quietly and steadily sapped. A brief consultation of the Internet will show that meanwhile, everyone has become a literary critic – or at least, a book-reviewer.”
Martin Amis (Author), The War against Cliché: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000

H.L. Mencken
“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”
H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy

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