Book Review

Novels: Exploring the World of Imagination

Sticks and Stones War, statutory rape, child abuse and racism are hardly the stuff of comedy, but in Towelhead (Simon & Schuster, $22), Alicia Erian succeeds in blending this weird and sometimes shocking mix of elements into a funny, poignant and utterly readable first novel. (Her collection of short stories, The Brutal Language of Love, was published in 2001.)…

The Good Terrorist is a new series of books that takes a look at the terrible events that happen when someone is critical of the government. This year’s book is “The Good Terrorist: The Year of the Government.”

John Brown did not make it easy for people to love him — until he died on the gallows. Perhaps no other figure in American experience straddles the blurred line between myth and history, legend and reality, quite like the domineering, violent, Calvinist abolitionist who attacked the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859 and provided, in a way, the Pearl Harbor of the Civil War.

Civil Rights: Expert Recommendations

Some of the most fascinating books on modern African American history have recast the civil rights movement as an expansive freedom struggle with visionary goals that reached beyond domestic legal battles and attained global significance. During the past quarter-century, these writings have shown that black political militancy sought not just civil rights legislation but also broader political and economic gains. Rather than assuming that this militancy was carefully orchestrated by Martin Luther King Jr., contemporary historians have increasingly directed their attention to the grassroots leaders who spearheaded local struggles for black advancement. They insist that leaders of national civil rights groups…

Exploring the World Through Travel Memoirs

Feeling Sheepish Hans Breuer, Austria’s last wandering shepherd, seems like a terrific character for a novel. He’s got comic potential: Picture this middle-aged man in a wide-brimmed hat, singing folksongs while he ushers his flock through Alpine villages past bemused locals. He’s got a serious side, too: In addition to being something of a relic by profession, Breuer is conspicuous as a Jew in a country that has yet to come to terms with its Nazi past….