Julie Des Jardins, “Walter Camp: Football and the Modern Man” (Oxford University Press, 2015)
In anticipation of Super Bowl 50, Sports Illustrated and WIRED magazines teamed up to speculate about the state of football fifty years from now, at the time of Super Bowl 100. Of course, the big question that arises when considering the future of the football is whether the sport will... Read More
Sarah Maza, “Violette Noziere: A Story of Murder in 1930s Paris” (U. of California Press, 2012)
On August 21, 1933, the teenaged Violette Noziere attempted to kill both her parents. At first, seemingly so clearcut, the case ultimately came to be characterized by a “troubling ambiguity” that unsettled Paris for years. Were the Nozieresan upstanding middle-class family? Was Violette a victim of sexual assault, her father... Read More
John Allen Paulos, “A Numerate Life” (Prometheus Books, 2015)
John Allen Paulos, who has accomplished the unheard-of double of writing best-sellers about mathematics and inserting a word (‘innumeracy’) into the language, has attempted another ambitious feat – bringing mathematics to bear on one of the few subjects it has yet to examine: biography and autobiography. A Numerate Life (Prometheus... Read More
Megan Marshall, “Margaret Fuller: A New American Life” (Mariner Books, 2013)
Megan Marshall is the Charles Wesley Emerson College Professor in writing, literature and publishing. Her book Margaret Fuller: A New American Life (Mariner Books, 2013) won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in biography. Marshall has written a beautiful and detailed portrait of the nineteenth-century political thinker, women’s rights advocate, and writer... Read More
James E. Strick, “Wilhelm Reich, Biologist” (Harvard UP, 2015)
“Life must have a father and mother…Science! I’m going to plant a bomb under its ass!” The author of the line above – who scrawled it in his private diary in the midst of a series of experiments in which he thought he was creating structures that were some kind... Read More
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