The Fixers is a solid piece of investigative journalism, an anti-Trump book, to be sure, but objective and fair enough to be read by Trump partisans with interest, and even a limited level of enjoyment.
Page by Page: Book Reviews
As I made my way through the book, I resisted the urge to cherry-pick essays by my favored cartoonists and writers, plowing straight through, which is probably the wrong way to read this book.
Laborde sets out to move beyond critique to theorize a more nuanced account of the contentious relationship between religion and liberalism. In an endlessly-frenzied debate that seems dangerously deadlocked, this ambition deserves to be applauded.
Joe Frazier deserves more than a lurking presence in Ali’s shadow, and he knew it. As Mark Kram Jr. puts it in his new biography, Smokin’ Joe: The Life of Joe Frazier, “the antipathy he harbored for Ali simmered just below a boil” even to the end of his life.
The program to eradicate smallpox was always underfunded, encountered numerous obstacles from obstructionist, incompetent governments to floods, civil wars, famines, and droughts. It is a story that makes one believe that human beings are worth believing in.
As Cohan perceptively notes, fans tend to consider their sporting loyalties as matters of “nonfiction,” rooted in actual people and real action. In fact, our fandom consists of interpretative storytelling. We consume the tales generated by sports competition, and we refashion them to suit our personal needs.
Kevin Winkler titled his book Big Deal: Bob Fosse and Dance in the American Musical to assert Fosse’s major role in four decades of development in American musical theater and in contemporary pop culture. Big Deal is also the title of Fosse’s last Broadway show and his first Broadway flop.
Rocky Marciano’s fights were wars of attrition, not tactical contests. This meant that he was a gate attraction even for people who were not fans of boxing.
To seek a more cautious understanding of fascism through scholarly literature, there is probably no place to start more respected than Robert O. Paxton’s The Anatomy of Fascism, now more than a decade old.
All in all, Roberts and Smith have offered us popular, rather than scholarly, history. Reading about Mantle and the Yankees is a pleasant exercise for anyone who likes baseball, and particularly for those who enjoyed some of those 1950s seasons.