The Historian as Hero
October 08, 2001
The Light of the Eyes By Azariah de’Rossi Translated and annotated by Joanna Weinberg (Yale University Press, 802 pp., $125) For at least a few years toward the end of his life, Azariah de' Rossi believed that February 26, 747 B.C.E.
Signs of the Times
July 30, 2001
John Ruskin: The Later Years by Tim Hilton (Yale University Press, 656 pp., $35) In the second volume of John Ruskin's three-volume study The Stones of Venice, which appeared in 1853, there is a chapter titled "The Nature of Gothic." It opens conventionally enough, with Ruskin promising to describe the "characteristic or moral elements" of the Gothic; but readers who were familiar with Ruskin's earlier works, Modern Painters and The Seven Lamps of Architecture, and who had been dazzled by his word-pictures of works of art and scenes of nature, could not possibly have expected a straightforwar
Tablets to Books
May 14, 2001
Libraries in the Ancient World By Lionel Casson (Yale University Press, 177 pp., $22.95) One of the inscribed clay tablets in the library of Ashurbanipal, who was the king of Assyria from 668 B.C.
March 26, 2001
Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books by H.J. Jackson (Yale University Press, 324 pp., $27.95) A certain Cambridge classics teacher named Walter Whiter suddenly became fairly famous when a peculiar book of his, A Specimen of a Commentary on Shakespeare, originally published and scorned in 1794, was rediscovered and for a while admired in the twentieth century. The brief vogue of the Specimen prompted some research into its author, so we know that Whiter was for some years the close friend of Richard Porson, the great Greek scholar.
The Sea and the Text
July 12, 1999
The Returns of Odysseus: Colonization and Ethnicity by Irad Malkin (University of California Press, 331 pp., $45) Celebrating Homer's Landscapes: Troy and Ithaca Revisited by J.V. Luce (Yale University Press, 260 pp., $35) For the modern traveler, Greece and its environs seem surprisingly small, a sea-girt checkerboard most often first glimpsed from the air. Most of the Aegean islands are on nodding terms with each other.
America in Thick and Thin
January 05, 1998
Civic Ideals: Conflicting Views of Citizenship in U.S. History by Rogers M. Smith (Yale University Press, 719 pp., $35) A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case called Lorelyn Penero Miller v. Madeleine K. Albright, and some of the drama of the case is encapsulated in the petitioner's name. Twenty-seven years ago in the Philippines, Lorelyn Penero Miller was born out of wedlock.
World of Our Father
June 26, 1995
God: A Biography By Jack Miles (Knopf, 446 pp., $27.50) The Postmodern Bible By The Bible and Culture Collective (Yale University Press, 416 pp., $35) Jack Miles is a learned and original critic. In an age in which such belletristic skills are commonly regarded as irrelevant or even harmful to the true business of criticism, he knows what it is to be a writer. Unusually gifted critics will sometimes choose to write peculiar books, and this is what Miles has done. A reviewer can hardly help being preoccupied with its oddity, but before yielding to that temptation he ought to say that God: A Bio
March 31, 1986
How the left rediscovered Reinhold Niebuhr.
Separate But Equal
July 01, 1985
In the Company of Educated Women: A History of Women and Higher Education in America by Barbara Miller Solomon (Yale University Press, 298 pp., $25) Women in College: Shaping New Feminine Identities by Mirra Komarovsky (Basic Books, 355 pp., $19.95) Alma Mater: Design and Experience in Women's Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the I930s by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz (Knopf, 420 pp., $25) “The absurdity of sending ladies to college, may, at first thought, strike every one, to whom this subject shall be proposed.
Protest at Selma: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by David J. Garrow (Yale University Press; $15.00) "The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men," declared President Lyndon B. Johnson when he signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. All the participants in the bloody events at Selma, Alabama, which led up to that legislation, agreed with the president. "Voting is the foundation stone for political action," announced Dr.