Mondays with the Supremes: The Coming of the Nixon Court: The 1972 Term and the Transformation of Constitutional Law, by Earl M. Maltz @ NYJB

“The Coming of the Nixon Court: The 1972 Term and the Transformation of Constitutional Law” by Earl M. Maltz investigates the gradual metamorphosis from liberal court to conservative court. Continue reading Mondays with the Supremes: The Coming of the Nixon Court: The 1972 Term and the Transformation of Constitutional Law, by Earl M. Maltz @ NYJB

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What I’m Reading 2012 and Other Business

What I’m Reading 2012 Overview: I’m currently reading five books.  Each poses certain challenges (in some cases, self-imposed challenges) to me as a reader, reviewer, critic, historian, and aesthete.  While New Year’s Resolutions get broken seconds after they’re uttered, these challenges will form an informal backbone to my reading schedule.  As it stands, I want to increase the frequency of my blog posts from bimonthly to weekly.  (The same goes for my other blog, Coffee is for Closers.)  The positive responses from readers has really inspired me to do more. As you’ll see with these challenges, I want to “raise … Continue reading What I’m Reading 2012 and Other Business

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Years of Upheaval (1981) by Henry Kissinger

A Second Term and a Third-rate Burglary Now Watergate does not bother me Does your conscience bother you? Tell the truth. “Sweet Home Alabama,” Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)   Years of Upheaval, the second volume of memoirs by Henry Kissinger, continues his personal account of public service, spanning the time of Nixon’s re-election to Nixon’s resignation following the Watergate scandal.  The memoirs record a short span of time although it encompasses a plethora of geopolitical, domestic, and personal events.  In the words of Homer Simpson, this volume has it all, “the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles.” Riding on … Continue reading Years of Upheaval (1981) by Henry Kissinger

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White House Years (1979) by Henry Kissinger

Tears of a Courtier Political memoirs are works of self-justification.  In the case of Henry Kissinger, he packages these self-justifications in the first volume of his memoirs, White House Years (1979).  As a major partner with President Richard Nixon, Kissinger, working as the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (more commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor), he followed Nixon’s wishes to direct the nation’s foreign policy from the White House.  Kissinger transformed himself from a Harvard academic to a diplomat engineering international relationships (political and military) of world-historical importance. During this period, Nixon and Kissinger could … Continue reading White House Years (1979) by Henry Kissinger

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Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) by Thomas Pynchon

“unreadable, turgid, overwritten and obscene.” — Pulitzer Prize board. Scenario: Imagine you’re a peasant, wallowing about the mud, occasionally getting hassled by men in armor alleging they are kings because some lass threw a scimitar at him, and you’re late for the biweekly meeting of your anarcho-sydiclist commune. Perhaps you’re name is Dennis. Life is a constant struggle involving mud, plague, and rampaging Crusaders lopping the heads off random farmers. Your daily routine of mud farming is disrupted. Out of nowhere, an day-glo painted SR-71 Blackbird, piloted by a figure reminiscent of Donald Sutherland’s character from Kelley’s Heroes and co-piloted … Continue reading Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) by Thomas Pynchon

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Vineland and the Pynchon Canon: A Critical Appraisal

Introduction: “The bums lost.” The Big Lebowski: Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski. Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. The bums will always lose. Do you hear me, Lebowski? The Dude walks out and shuts the door. The Big Lebowski: The bums will always lose! Brandt: How was your meeting, Mr. Lebowski? The Dude: Okay. The old man told me to take any rug in the house. The Big Lebowski (1998) – Los Bros. Coen In 1990 saw the publication of Vineland, by Thomas Pynchon.  The novel concerned the … Continue reading Vineland and the Pynchon Canon: A Critical Appraisal

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