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Americans who pick up Jesse Norman’s “Edmund Burke: The First Conservative” expecting to pick up ammunition in the ongoing political culture war may be a bit disappointed. Jesse Norman is a British Parliamentarian, and his definition of conservatism is rather more, well, liberal, than those of Ayn Rand or Glenn Beck. Norman argues that Edmund Burke, a Whig, was a sort of protoconservative during his life, often advocating for ideals
John Pafford offers an apology for the life of President Grover Cleveland in his new book, “The Forgotten Conservative.” In this case, the word “apology” is not used to describe an expression of regret. In this case, “apology” means a formal defense. Pafford’s treatment of Cleveland is among a number of books recently written by professional conservatives exalting past presidents. This book is different from the others because it does
Poverty, as experienced on varying levels by multiple generations of a family, is at the root of Susan Tekulve’s first novel. The saga begins in War, W.Va., in 1924. War, a coal mining town in Appalachia, is home to countless Italian immigrants, led to the mines on the empty promise of a better life. Emma is the 16-year-old daughter of a miner who helps her arthritic mother in any way
“Moving Miss Peggy,” by Robert Benson, is a memoir of dementia. The author’s mother — the titular Miss Peggy — has, by the time this book starts, already started to show signs of dementia: forgetfulness, worry, and so on. Benson, who writes “contemplative” books, tells the story of his family’s search for some meaning in his mother’s growing illness. This work, which is really a series of short essays, effectively
More than a half-million people know Kelly Oxford’s biting sense of humor via her Twitter account. She counts an odd collection of celebrities, including magician David Copperfield, television host Jimmy Kimmel and the late movie critic Roger Ebert, among her fan base. Yet beyond the 140-character quips she shares with her followers is a gifted storyteller whose collection of essays, “Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar,” is a vivid
In William Shakespeare’s “Henry VI, Part 2,” Dick the Butcher utters a line that has made it onto T-shirts and bumper stickers, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” The legal profession may be doing Dick’s bidding. Northwestern University adjunct law professor Steven Harper has taken a critical look at the business side of the legal profession, and what he sees is an education/business model that is
“Gospel of Freedom” is an inspired work that belongs in every English-language library. Author Jonathan Rieder gleans a host of illuminating revelations from the content of Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Prophetically, it was composed in 1963, a week before Sheriff Bull Connor turned police dogs and fire hoses loose on black students marching in a non violent civil rights protest. Yet what an incarcerated King wrote,
MONDAY How to Say Anything to Anyone Shari Harley, founder and president of Candid Culture, an international training and consulting firm that helps companies, government agencies, schools and nonprofits create better business relationships, will speak. When: 6 p.m. Where: Jefferson Center, Roanoke Cost: Call for ticket information. Contact: 983-0700 TUESDAY “Stuart’s Finest Hour: The Ride Around McClellan June 1862” A presentation by John Fox and the Roanoke Civil War Round
Out of the fast-fading twilight of memory for World War II comes a flurry of books commemorating an era of noble heroism and sacrifice, and despicable cowardice and brutality. Patrick Bishop is handsomely styled “one of Britain’s leading military historians ,” and this well-researched and lively account ought to add to his already-gilded laurels. For the tale of the mighty Nazi battleship Admiral von Tirpitz , its conception and construction,
In Marc Phillip Yablonka’s “Distant War: Recollections of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia,” the military journalist captures numerous historical perspectives impossible to find anywhere else. By interviewing military veterans, renowned journalists, photographers, doctors, humanitarians and a host of others who survived the deadly conflicts in Southeast Asia, a complex picture of controversial events takes shape in a profound way. Each of the book’s 31 chapters is jam-packed with firsthand accounts, heroic
This slightly uneven collection may be of greater interest to Sedaris newbies than to his seasoned followers, because most if not all of the pieces have previously appeared in The New Yorker or other publications. Even so, it is fun to revisit them and relish again the author’s wry perspective and his singular way with words. “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls,” his eighth book, is studded with stories in which
A brief disclaimer: Laurence Leamer’s “The Price of Justice” discusses a series of court cases that lasts for the better part of a decade. Leamer’s prior work, which focuses mostly on celebrity biographies (including a trilogy about the Kennedy family), makes his decision to document the court cases against Massey Energy, the now-infamous coal company in West Virginia, seem a bit bizarre. But when he was younger, Leamer went “under
THURSDAY “Passion’s Slave: Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the Humors” This talk by Katharine Cleland, Virginia Tech visiting assistant professor of Renaissance literature, is sponsored by the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. In Shakespeare’s plays, the core passions of anger, grief, hope and fear are symptoms of imbalance among body fluids known as the four “humors,” an ancient idea with connections to modern neuroscience, biochemistry and personality theory. Cleland will discuss
When Susan Bordo began researching Anne Boleyn for another project, she found conflicting representations — Henry VIII’s second wife was the ultimate sinner, a misunderstood saint, a raven-haired schemer, a blond intellectual, the deformed bearer of a deformed fetus, the dignified mother of the king’s healthiest child. Entranced not only by these depictions of Anne, but also by the woman herself, Bordo compiled her findings, thoughts and research into “The
Passage of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution made it illegal to abridge the right of a U.S. citizen to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” In 1965, the passage of the Voting Rights Act paved the way for making the enfranchisement guaranteed by the Fifteenth Amendment a reality in states that did not recognize the power of the federal government to regulate
Eduardo Galeano lives in Uruguay where he works as a journalist and writer of books. He has won awards for his writing. Now he has written a collection of stories and commentary. Each of the entries is associated with a day of the year. The entries are varied in subject and tone. Here are two excerpts: “June 6 “THE MOUNTAINS THAT WERE “Over the past two centuries, four hundred seventy
MONDAY Edmunds Lectures at Second Presbyterian Church Dr. William Stacy Johnson, the Arthur M. Adams Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, will provide the lecture series this year. His topic is “Prophetic Christianity: Re-Envisioning the Gospel in a Post-Christian World.” Not only a professor and ordained Presbyterian minister, he also has practiced law and is a prolific author of numerous books dealing with John Calvin, Karl Barth, H.
William Egan Colby left his mark on America. He served as operations officer for the Office of Strategic Services behind enemy lines during World War II. He was Saigon station chief for the CIA , and later served as director of Central Intelligence. He lived and died in the shadows. Randall B. Woods’ new biography of Colby, “Shadow Warrior,” begins with Colby’s mysterious death . Then a flashback takes the
March is Women's History Month, and to celebrate, the Colonel William Preston Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution will be presenting two events at local libraries. During each event, one at the Roanoke Main Library tonight at 6 p.m. and one at the South County Library on March 21 at 7 p.m., chapter members will discuss "Notable Women: West of the Blue Ridge Twentieth
— tuesday — l “Gender and Justice Issues” A lecture by professors Mary Atwell, Lori Elis, Lucy Hochstein and Samantha Lynn from the Criminal Justice department. When: 5 to 6:30 p.m. Where: Heth 14, Radford University Cost: Free Contact: 831-6143 l “Homophobia on the College Campus: What Can We Learn from Virginia’s Colleges and Universities?” A lecture by professor Joseph Jones. When: 3 to 4 p.m. Where: Bonnie Student Center,
Weather JournalSome severe storm risk thru Thurs.