Two new children’s books show us what most adults already know: that kids handle adolescence differently, and that growing up is by turns confusing, hilarious, and yes, sometimes scary. But in just the right light, and often only in retrospect, it is nothing short of an adventure.
Page by Page: Book Reviews
Revolutionary Medicine offers a history of the lives of the rich and powerful, but also a window into how health and disease were experienced by ordinary folk in Revolutionary-era United States.
For some readers, this may be a new and exciting–even revolutionary!–perspective on the historical Jesus. Aslan certainly hopes so: he describes Zealot as the culmination of “two decades of rigorous academic research into the origins of Christianity.” For scholars, however, Aslan’s research is neither novel nor especially rigorous. It is clear that Aslan has indeed been fascinated by the historical Jesus since his teenage years, but he is not an academic specialist in the New Testament or in early Christianity, and he does himself a disservice by portraying himself as one.
“What is important in this volume is not necessarily Akin’s history of his career. Rather the book illustrates the key characteristics of many in the Christian right who make a difference at the ballot box. When there is such fundamental belief in certain tenets, political and societal division is inevitable and gridlock prevails.”
Although recommended to readers with an interest in Bacharach or in popular song of his era, Anyone Who Had a Heart is an unsatisfying book. Readers hoping that Burt Bacharach’s autobiography will reveal new depths in the man and his music may find that both come to seem shallower than ever.
Earth, Wind & Fire turned the “Me Decade” upside down, inside out, and all around. Lead man Philip Bailey’s bio reveals the spirit behind the songs.
It may be mere schmaltz from the shtetl, but the story and songs of Tevye, his daughters, and life in Anatevka has shaped Jewish identity to a surprising degree.
In life and in music, The Prisonaires never got the justice they deserved. John Dougan’s new book The Mistakes of Yesterday, the Hopes of Tomorrow works to even that score.
David Kilcullen’s new book predicts the future of armed conflict through terrorism’s recent past, and with the city as its stage, but Out of The Mountains is best when it’s analyzing, not prophesying.
Stanley Crouch gives us the best biography yet of Charlie Parker, the first jazz musician to let the saxophone lead the way, and the seminal musician who could make his horn sound “sweet,” yet “devoid of pity.”