Charles Beard

e-Salvation

What Technology Wants By Kevin Kelly (Viking, 406 pp., $27.95)   Kevin Kelly, the éminence grise of Silicon Valley, holds the odd job title of “senior maverick” at Wired magazine, enjoying a cult following among thousands of geeks around the globe.

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America Made Easy

John Adams By David McCullough (Simon & Schuster, 751 pp., $35) I. At the height of the XYZ Affair in 1798, when American public outrage against France verged on war hysteria, President John Adams briefly enjoyed the sort of popular acclaim that he had long thought he deserved. In Paris, the French foreign minister Talleyrand had tried to bribe three American envoys sent by Adams to negotiate an end to continuing maritime hostilities between the two erstwhile allies.

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