Tag Archives: book reviews

The Mars Room — Rachel Kushner

OK, I realise I’m starting to sound like a broken record. I disliked Milkman but from then on my opinion on the shortlisted books I’ve talked about has pretty much been “yeah… they’re good, but could have been better”. I’m … Continue reading

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FDR — Jean Edward Smith

FDR is an impressive man. I had a high regard for him going into this project, and reading Jean Edward Smith’s biography only elevated my opinion. Between the New Deal and the US war record, FDR left a formidably strong … Continue reading

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Herbert Hoover — Eugene Lyons

As this project has developed, some presidents have come across as somewhat laclustre. Others have struck me as being singularly unfortunate. A number of the antebellum presidents could be considered both. So, I think, could Hoover. Hoover’s presidency cannot help … Continue reading

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Coolidge: An American Enigma — Robert Sobel

Coolidge managed to escape from the Harding administration with his reputation unscathed and, after serving half a term following Harding’s death, won reelection predominantly on the back of the country’s strong economic performance. Coolidge had a reputation for being quiet, … Continue reading

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The Bottle Factory Outing — Beryl Bainbridge

Let me begin by saying that this is a clever book. It’s filled with the understated prose, closely observed characters and slightly twisted humour that Bainbridge does well. That the book did little for me should not detract from that. … Continue reading

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The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G. Harding in His Times — Francis Russell

Harding’s administration is almost exclusively known for the scandals that happened within it and Harding’s presidency is frequently seen as the worst to date. I feel “to date” may be an important qualifier, but it’s hard to disagree with the … Continue reading

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Do Not Say We Have Nothing — Madeleine Thien

So October is finally here and more Man Booker nominees are arriving in the mail! Next up is Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing, which shall be closely followed by David Szalay’s All That Man Is. As it … Continue reading

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