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    Nixon’s Tricks of the Trade

    Obeying the courts, Nixon desegregated public schools. He got little credit for it—and didn’t want any. He wanted Southerners’ votes. Robert K. Landers reviews “Richard Nixon: The Life” John A. Farrell.

From Review

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    YouTube Star Lilly Singh’s Life Lessons

    YouTube star Lilly Singh aims to translate her online followers into readers with her publishing debut, “How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life,” out this month.

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    Books That Speak the Truth to Boys

    A new generation of frank novels for teens and preteens aims to do what Judy Blume has done for generations of girls.

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    Book Publishers Are Printing More #@$% Than Ever

    Expletive-laden book titles, some with strategically placed asterisks, are proliferating in cookbooks, memoirs, self-help guides, even coloring books for grown-ups—presenting challenges for bookstores and reviewers.

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    When Couples Fight Over Books

    People feel possessive of books because they help form our beliefs. How couples keep, display and discard books can be the stuff of heated debate.

Book Reviews

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    The Nerds Who Make English

    The Merriam-Webster editor informs us that the German word for a lower-back tattoo is “Arschgeweih,” which literally means “ass antlers.” Henry Hitchings reviews “Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries” by Kory Stamper.

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    Marilyn Takes Manhattan

    She had affairs with Brando and Sinatra, who gave her a dog she called “Maf,” short for Mafia. But most important, having just ended her brief marriage to Joe DiMaggio, she took up with the playwright Arthur Miller. Moira Hodgson reviews “Marilyn in Manhattan” by Elizabeth Winder.

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    The Closing of the Feminist Mind

    Is it any surprise that in this bombastic, say-anything era, the contrarian lesbian libertarian is having a moment? Leonore Tiefer reviews “Free Women, Free Men” by Camille Paglia.

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    In Bed With Il Duce

    Dismissing Mussolini’s doubts about his future, Petacci urged him to crush his Italian enemies and drive out the Germans, like the mighty lion he still was. Ben Downing reviews “Claretta” by R.J.B. Bosworth.

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    Biloxi to Beaumont to Bonita Springs

    The lyrical, inspiring and chilling story of “America’s Sea.” Gerard Helferich reviews “The Gulf” by Jack E. Davis.

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    The Floating Utopias of the Future

    New city-states in international waters could eventually house as many as a billion people. Shlomo Angel reviews “Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the Environment, Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Liberate Humanity from Politicians” by Joe Quirk and Patri Friedman.

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    The Most Secretive Man in Washington

    From the New Deal to the first George Bush, Democrats dominated Congress thanks to the ‘Austin-Boston’ connection. Richard Norton Smith reviews “John William McCormack” by Garrison Nelson.

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    Titans in Tin Cans

    Desron 21 won 118 battle stars during World War II and led the U.S. Navy into Tokyo Bay in 1945. Walter R. Borneman reviews “Tin Can Titans: The Heroic Men and Ships of World War II’s Most Decorated Navy Destroyer Squadron” by John Wukovits.

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    The Best New Children’s Books

    In “Princess Cora and the Crocodile,” Cora lives in a castle and her godmother is a fairy, but every minute of her time has been scheduled. Sound familiar?

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    Of Horses and War

    A historical novel recalls Hardy and Lawrence in evoking the natural world and coming of age. Allan Massie reviews “The Horseman” by Tim Pears.

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    The Chip on China’s Shoulder

    China’s leaders wield historical maps like a bludgeon, and their spurious claims now constitute what many Chinese believe is a “natural order” that must be restored. Stephen R. Platt reviews “Everything Under the Heavens” by Howard W. French.

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    How Not to Be Boring

    Of all of Weiss’s talents, his greatest may be his knack for making friends. He made them in bars, on boats and at a urinal in Davos. Xan Smiley reviews “Being Dead Is Bad for Business” by Stanley A. Weiss.

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    Five Best: Will Englund

    The author of “March 1917: On the Brink of War and Revolution” chooses his favorite books on America a century ago.

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    Sam Sacks on the Best New Fiction

    “Compass,” which was awarded France’s prestigious Prix Goncourt in 2015, takes place over one sleepless night, during which a musicologist relives the research trips he took with a lover to Turkey, Syria and Iran.

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    Cash Handouts for Everyone

    Support for a universal income comes from technophiles like Elon Musk, libertarians like Charles Murray and labor leader Andy Stern. Marc Levinson reviews “Basic Income” by Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght.

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    Friendships That Saved the World

    It wasn’t just FDR and Churchill. The prime minister also admired Gen. George Marshall, who he called the “greatest Roman of them all.” Arthur Herman reviews “Churchill, Roosevelt & Company” by Lewis E. Lehrman.

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    He Wanted Some Alone Time

    Christopher Knight crept off into a Maine forest sometime in 1986. He avoided human contact for three decades, stealing food and supplies. Stefan Beck reviews “The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit” by Michael Finkel.

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    Staring Down Alzheimer’s

    Family members agreed to tests whose results might force them to confront ethical choices, such as whether to marry or have children. Laura Landro reviews “The Inheritance” by Niki Kapsambelis.

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    Abe and the Opposition

    Contrary to 50 years of Civil War scholarship, Mark E. Neely Jr. argues in “Lincoln and the Democrats” that Democrats seldom constituted a fifth column of antiwar subversion.

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    The Hawk Dressed as a Dove

    Why, given Yitzhak Rabin’s decades of staunch defense of Israeli security, did he agree to the Oslo Accords? Elliott Abrams reviews “Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman” by Itamar Rabinovich.

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    Zion’s Mother Tongue

    Hebrew was “torn from biblical sleep” at the close of the 19th century, becoming a spoken language again after nearly two millennia. Benjamin Balint reviews “The Story of Hebrew” by Lewis Glinert and “Hayim Nahman Bialik: Poet of Hebrew” by Avner Holtzman.

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    The Line That Made the Modern World

    Candidates for the prime meridian included Paris, the manger at Bethlehem and the Great Pyramid of Giza. Greenwich won. Robert P. Crease reviews “Zero Degrees: Geographies of the Prime Meridian” by Charles W.J. Withers.

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    Gershom Scholem: Modern Mystic

    How a scholar of Judaism has become an inspiration to those yearning to find a religious center in their lives. Joseph Epstein reviews “Strangers in a Strange Land” by George Prochnik.

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    The President Fells a Demagogue

    Eisenhower’s ferocious mobilization against McCarthy was a story that most reporters missed, and Ike even lied about his actions in his memoirs. Thomas Mallon reviews “Ike and McCarthy” by David A. Nichols.

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    Five Best: Rachel Cooke

    The author of “Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties” on novels about single women.

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    The Best New Children’s Books

    Meghan Cox Gurdon reviews “Yvain: The Knight of the Lion”—a thrilling graphic-novel full of ogres, dragons, King Arthur and courtly love—and other new titles.

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    The Devil at Shortstop

    Leo the Lip was a brawler, a womanizer, a vicious prankster, an umpire baiter, a compulsive gambler—and a Hall of Famer. Edward Kosner reviews “Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son” by Paul Dickson.

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    An Overdue Appreciation of Charlton Heston

    The actor was earnest, hard-working and unfailingly decent. Scott Eyman reviews “Charlton Heston: Hollywood’s Last Icon” by Marc Eliot.

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    The Best New Science Fiction

    When interstellar travel suddenly becomes impossible, a farflung empire teeters.Tom Shippey reviews “The Collapsing Empire” by John Scalzi.

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    Rebirth of the Campus Novel

    “The Devil and Webster,” Jean Hanff Korelitz’s sharp and insightful account of the current explosion of student discontent, ought to set off a golden age for the campus novel.

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    Travels of the French Kitchen

    How to cook mussels in Vietnam, Guadeloupe, Normandy, Provence
    and La Réunion. Colman Andrews reviews “Provence to Pondicherry: Recipes from France and Faraway” by Tessa Kiros.

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    Inside the World of Daily Fantasy Sports

    The ‘game,’ such as it is, uses sporting events the way the lottery uses ping-pong balls. Will Leitch reviews “Dueling With Kings: High Stakes, Killer Sharks, and the Get-Rich Promise of Daily Fantasy Sports” by Daniel Barbarisi.

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    What Did Tolkien Have Against the Word ‘She’?

    The writer uses the word ‘he’ 1,900 times in ‘The Hobbit.’ The word ‘she’ appears just once. Jeff Baker reviews “Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve” by Ben Blatt.

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    Beholding Hell Before Age 20

    Growing up in Brooklyn, Freely dreamed of sailing the world in the wake of Odysseus. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he got his chance. Greg Crouch reviews “The House of Memory” by John Freely.

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    Hemingway Was a Spy

    In 1940, as he was preparing to go on a trip to China, the writer agreed to work for the NKVD, the Soviet foreign intelligence agency. Harvey Klehr reviews “Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy” by Nicholas Reynolds.

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    The Prosecutors’ Prison State

    Crime rates in the U.S. continue to decrease, yet we have higher incarceration rates than Russia or Cuba. So much for the land of the free. Edward P. Stringham reviews “Locked In” by John F. Pfaff.

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    Native American Exhibitions

    “When a white man’s grave is dug up, it’s called grave robbing. But when an Indian’s grave is dug up, it’s called archaeology.” Naomi Schaefer Riley reviews “Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits” by Chip Colwell.

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    The Most Seductive Architect

    Louis Kahn’s buildings are unmistakably modern, but they equally suggest Stonehenge or the pyramids. Michael Lewis reviews “You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn” by Wendy Lesser.

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    The Lives and Deaths of History’s Greatest Buildings

    “Fallen Glory” by James Crawford is a brilliant book that spans seven millennia, five continents and even reaches into cyberspace.

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    The Best New Mysteries

    Tom Nolan reviews “Heretics,” Leonardo Padura’s ample feast of a historical novel with a missing Rembrandt at its center.

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    A Field Guide to Soccer

    Ruud Gullit was one of the game’s greats. He tells you what he sees on the field in “How to Watch Soccer.”

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    The Best New Fiction

    Elif Batuman’s “The Idiot” adheres to the Karl Ove Knausgaard school of autobiographical realism, scrupulously resisting the temptations of plot development in order to achieve a more authentic effect.

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    Five Best: Daniel Beer

    The author of “The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars” on Russian prisons.

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    The Best New Children’s Books

    Meghan Cox Gurdon reviews books about Mao’s Cultural Revolution, a goat in Manhattan, an enigmatic song and fox cubs jumping rope.

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    The Stench of Progress

    Believing was not always seeing. Mark Smith reviews “The Sensational Past: How the Enlightenment Changed the Way We Use Our Senses” by Carolyn Purnell.

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    A Memoirist Confronts Her Mother’s Murder

    Nancy Rommelmann reviews “Down City: A Daughter’s Story of Love, Memory, and Murder,” Leah Carroll’s crushing and intensely readable memoir.

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    A Genetic Pandora’s Box

    Increasingly, we have a user’s manual for the construction and operation of human beings. How should we use it? Adrian Woolfson reviews “The Gene Machine” by Bonnie Rochman.

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    The Blood Flows on King Street

    What actually happened in Boston on that night 246 years ago? Mark Spencer reviews “Boston’s Massacre” by Eric Hinderaker.

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    Women Vs. Feminists

    A populist movement—the antifeminist crusade of the mid-1970s—stymied a supposedly inevitable progressive victory. Sound familiar? Kay S. Hymowitz reviews “”Divided We Stand” by Marjorie J. Spruill.

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