What exactly does it mean to say that a book will tell us Who We Are and How We Got Here? The immediate tendency is to conclude that the author really thinks, in the most reductive sense, that the “open sesame” code that will release the answers to human questions of identity is buried in our DNA.
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.
The novel’s attraction is solely its dystopian vision of a fascist America. None of its characters or situations are memorable. That is not to say that some of the characters are not interesting or diverting.
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.