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Tag Archives: review

Review of a New Biography of Thoreau.


The University Bookman decided I was the right guy to review the new Thoreau biography, presumably because of all these years living off-grid and the defense of Thoreau I wrote when The New Yorker published its scandalous, fact-free attack on the man.  So I read the biography – a nice one, by Laura Dassow Walls – and […]

Bob Dylan, Conscience of a Generation.


A few weeks ago I was cleaning up after a party at my house and came upon a paper bag full of books which a guest had apparently left as a gift.  They were all recent books, the kind of stuff that makes me hate being in bookstores – I always feel like I have […]

Scott and Helen Nearing’s Serious Good Life.


A friend lent me the one-volume edition of Helen and Scott Nearing’s The Good Life and Continuing the Good Life a few months ago, and since that time I have worked on it in leaps and starts. The blurb on the back of the book advertises it very well, and explains why I was willing […]

Hitchens, Stegner, Mortality, and Moderns.


Sickness very much getting the better of me in the days following Thanksgiving, I spent three days indoors and very nearly all the time in bed. Having a great number of books at my disposal, being in the family house, for whatever inscrutable reason I read Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality on Friday, and Wallace Stegner’s Crossing […]

Timon of Athens, from the National Theater in London.


Chance led me, as it sometimes leads the prepared mind, to Plutarch’s Life of Marc Antony not long ago, and I was struck by the following incident. After the collapse of Marc Antony’s fortunes and his disastrous defeat at the Battle of Actium, knowing that the assassins of Augustus were on their way and that […]