The Dark Side of History

Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States   I don’t often give movie reviews this degree of treatment, but Stone’s  story here is an ultra-long documentary, and it’s somewhat important for what it accomplishes. In the movie’s preamble Stone professes to be disturbed by what’s been left out of any commonly held history of…

The Mysteries Lurking in Mind

  Black Dogs, By Ian McEwan   I still find it odd that some (if not most) people will never re-read a book. I’ve just re-read this one because it was my first McEwan and I was so unfamiliar with his odd story structure that the essence of the book didn’t stay with me. But…

The Good Earth of Portugal

Raised From the Ground, by Jose Saramago     All writers – the ones who keep plugging away at their craft, that is – will eventually develop a style and voice uniquely theirs. I’m told that Raised From the Ground was the book that did it for Saramago, Portugal’s preeminent writer until his death in…

Tales of City and Countryside

Anna Karenina – Section Two, by Leo Tolstoy image via superstock.co.uk Tolstoy doesn’t change horses as one might expect of an authorial dividing line between sections of this story. Keep in mind that serialized stories must be written so that each segment clings desperately to those on either side in order to keep readers enthralled….

The Power of Charisma and Propaganda

       The Coming Of The Third Reich, by Richard J. Evans   Historical writing, I’ve learned, is a conversation over the years, in the hopes of more nearly portraying events as they really happened. Such is the case with Evans’ The Coming Of The Third Reich.   The problem with writing about the…