Tom

A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War By Amanda Foreman (Random House, 958 pp., $35) The world’s biggest superpower has a problem. The citizens of a nation overseas have risen up against their tyrannical rulers, determined to claim liberty even if it takes a civil war. As the most powerful global advocate of freedom, the superpower has to admire the rebels’ cause. Should it help them? Humanitarians argue that intervention can prevent hundreds of thousands of civilians from suffering hideous state-sponsored subjugation.

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Dodd and Man

Washington—When it comes to the role and functioning of the United States Senate, my rather dyspeptic views could not be more at odds with those of Chris Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who is retiring at the end of the year.  I've reached the point where I'd abolish the Senate if I could.

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Viva México

Excuse me if I lose my journalistic objectivity when I say: ¡viva México! It’s not only that Aguirre’s men played a wonderful game tonight: air-tight defending, wonderful ball rotation and physical fitness that, as far as I’ve seen, is probably the best in the whole tournament. By the end of the match, even Jeremy Toulalan—by far the most committed of Domenech’s disappointing team—simply wanted to throw in the towel. Mexico didn’t lose pace or focus for one second.

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The Letters of T.S. Eliot: Volume 1 (1898–1922) Edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton (Faber and Faber, 871 pp., £35) The Letters of T.S. Eliot: Volume 2 (1923–25) Edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton (Faber and Faber, 878 pp., £35)  In these two volumes we find more than 1,600 pages of letters and T.S. Eliot is not yet forty.

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(500) Days of Summer is a story of boy meets girl, but it is not a love story. We know this because a basso profundo narrator (Richard McGonagle) tells us so in the opening moments of the film. The boy, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), ought to know this, too, because the girl, Summer (Zooey Deschanel), has informed him that she is not interested in having a boyfriend, that she wants to avoid anything “serious,” and that she considers love an illusion. But Tom does not believe Summer, and to a considerable degree neither do we.

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