Category: Book Reviews

  • Edgar Allan Poe and Science

    Edgar Allan Poe and Science

    The title of this book is very provocative; one must read the subtitle to realise it is actually about America’s great poet Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). More than just a biography, it relates how Poe was influenced by the emerging professional scientific world of the nineteenth century. When he was born the word ‘scientist’ had […]

  • Stand-Up Comedy in Ancient Rome

    Stand-Up Comedy in Ancient Rome

    To quote playwright Alan Bennett: “If not quite a platform, a play is certainly a plinth, a small eminence from which to address the world, hold forth about one’s concerns or the concerns of one’s character.” The UK publisher Bloomsbury has commissioned a series of book on ancient comedy, putting each one on a plinth […]

  • Bloom’s Last Book

    Bloom’s Last Book

    I do not think Harold Bloom believed in immortality, only long life (he died at age 89 in 2019).  What he called poetic immortality was merely extreme longevity, for even Shakespeare will lose literary relevance when the last human being closes his eyes forever, “and the world is uncreated”.  In his last and great work, […]

  • Mary Oliver and Nature

    Mary Oliver and Nature

    Review written by Conlan Salgado   This is not the age of poetry, nor of great personalities. No one really knows at all what this is the age of, but I think when it is finally named, it will not have the word great in its title. Someone suggested to me the other day that […]

  • TAYLOR and CLIFT

    TAYLOR and CLIFT

    Review by Dr. M. Emanuele The book Elizabeth and Monty by Charles Casillo is an enlightening glimpse of the intertwined lives of the movie icons Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. Although there are numerous salacious episodes both of Monty’s escapades and Liz’s liasons and marriages, the book is also documented with details of their childhood […]

  • Sparta in 4 Volumes

    Sparta in 4 Volumes

    Dr. Paul Rahe (Hillside College, Michigan), has now published 4 volumes in his history of Sparta. The Spartan Regime (2016) served as a prelude to this series on the foreign policy of Sparta. It was followed by The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta (2017), Sparta’s First Attic War (2019) and now Sparta’s Second Attic War […]

  • Mayor Pete: The Autobiography

    Mayor Pete: The Autobiography

    Review by Dr M. Emanuele As I began to read Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg, I was faced with a conundrum. Within the first 20 pages I was ready to put it down – literally and figuratively. I was expecting to a read a down-to-earth expose, written from a blue-collar point of view. But […]

  • The Making of Milton

    The Making of Milton

    In this first of a projected two-volume work, Nicholas McDowell (Univ. of Exeter) offers “a biography of the mind” of the young Milton, “before he became renowned as the writer of the greatest narrative poem in English,” Paradise Lost. McDowell, as coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of Milton, is already an established Milton scholar. As […]

  • Ancient Greece & Rome: Just the Facts!

    Ancient Greece & Rome: Just the Facts!

    Courtroom dramas did not begin with Perry Mason. The origins of the legal system used in most Western countries can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, which is still a fertile source for scholars to write books about. This review looks at two recent efforts. Peter O’Connell is assistant professor of classics at […]

  • Commander in Cheat

    Commander in Cheat

    It is amazing that author Rick Reilly can say so much about Donald Trump’s personality based on a golf game. So much, in fact, it fills a whole book: Commander in Cheat. Reilly contends you can learn a lot about a person by the way he acts on a golf course. His conclusions are hardly […]