Blog Background

Owing to recent format constraints, the history and statistics for the present blog are contained in a post shown below. Please go to “Home” and scroll to the post entitled, “About Blog/Statistics.” There have been over sixteen thousand readers of the present blog from eighty-six countries. I have reviewed over two hundred and sixty books […]

The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty (2023), by Michael Wolff

(Roger Ailes’) political, cultural, and programming sense converged into a single perception. It was a demographic appreciation of the radical disparities that had grown in American life–the wealth disparity, the education disparity, the generational disparity, the technological disparity, the gender disparity, the religion disparity, the white and others disparity, and the great rural-urban divide. There […]

Enough (2023), by Cassidy Hutchinson

Democracy is a very bad form of government…but all the others are so much worse. –Winston Churchill Enough is a heartening reminder that somehow, and so far, we are managing to preserve our Democracy, ever embattled and direly threatened though it remains. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’s chief aide, twenty-five-year-old Cassidy Hutchinson, working […]

The Queen’s Gambit (2020)

When I’m goin’, when I’m really goin’, I feel like a…like a jockey must feel when he’s sittin’ on his horse, he’s got all that speed and power underneath him, he’s coming into the stretch, the pressure’s on him–and he knows. He just feels when to let it go and how much. ‘Cause he’s got […]

On Writing and Failure: Or, On the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer (Field Notes) (2023), by Stephen Marche

Stephen Marche has written an honest book about the travails of writing. The next time Hollywood puts out the usual romantic idea of The Writer, here are some items, some fom Marche and some from elsewhere, to consider and which show the inevitable risks, failures and other calamities which befall all Scribblers: -Samuel Johnson’s times […]

Vertigo (1958)

The British Film Industry (BFI) finally replaced Citizen Kane with Vertigo (1958) as their choice for the best movie ever. It’s about time. The distinction is a good one, because it is a critical judgment seemingly made without regard for time, for history. You’d expect Citizen Kane, a sort of almost immortal sacred cow among movie cognoscenti, to be replaced by […]

The Snow Girl (2023)

Opinion. A Spanish TV series (six episodes), The Snow Girl, now streamable, is a gripping tale of the abduction of a child, Amaya Martin, five, who is taken when she is but momentarily unwatched by her parents during a nighttime crowded street celebration of The Cavalcade of Magi in lovely Malaga, Spain, in 2010. An […]

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Opinion. This movie is worth a revisit largely because Spencer Tracy, playing World War II combat veteran, John J. Macreedy, puts on a clinic of inspired acting, a high point even for him. His performance is heightened by the elemental and stark stage of the movie–a forsaken tiny desert town in an interior wasteland in […]

The Destructionists (2022), by Dana Milbank

Opinion. The subtitle of Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank’s book is: The Twenty-Five-Year Crack-up of the Republican Party. Here briefly are highlights of the alarming tale, most of them surely familiar but seldom pulled together as a multiyear drama. Act One: The arch villain is Newt Gingrich: beginning in the 1990s, he rushes on stage […]