From Leisure & Arts

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    Recipes for Killer One-Liners

    Dorothy Parker once said of her tiny apartment: ‘I’ve barely enough room to lay my hat and a few friends.’ That’s syllepsis.

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    Money for Dummies

    The author implies that quantitative easing lets governments magically pay off debt. Rest assured: no liability has actually been reduced.

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    Anatomy of a Conspiracy

    Steven Donziger had a keen sense of how to win the class-action suit against Chevron: ‘In the end of the day, it is about brute force.’

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    The Wonks Can’t Save Us

    Economists have gotten a bad rap for failing to predict downturns like the recent recession. But innovation—not soothsaying—is their job.

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    Shades of Stendahl

    Storm Jameson began writing novels because it ‘was the simplest way to earn money when you have a young child keeping you at home.’

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    Wonder Woman for President

    A brainy Amazon. A Nazi-fighting feminist. A single gal. How our great female superhero went from saving the world to searching for a husband.

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    First Deaths at Dachau

    In 1933, one courageous Bavarian prosecutor forced the Nazis to stop the killing for a time.

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    Do What I Mean, Not What I Say

    Ancient philosophers deliberately concealed the meaning of their writings to protect society from dangerous truths.

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    ISIS’s War on the World’s Ancient Religions

    Yazidis, Samaritans, Copts and other descendants of ancient civilizations

    are being erased.

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    The Book of Books

    ‘My Fair Lady’ has by far the best dialogue of any musical. But that’s because most of it is George Bernard Shaw’s.

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    Children’s Books: To Feast the Eyes

    Two adventures in the forest, one grim and one cheerful.

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    Science Fiction: Daylight Dreams

    The residents of a quiet Vermont college town find themselves sharing thoughts and memories; the latest from the author of “Neuromancer.”

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    Number One With a Bullet

    As a boy Jerry Lee Lewis would sneak into a segregated blues joint called Will Haney’s Big House and hide under tables.

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    They Ate With Their Skates On

    In his 1946 debut with the Detroit Red Wings, Gordie Howe scored a goal and lost three teeth.

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    Montana-Bound

    Sam Sacks on two works of Big Sky fiction.

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    Five Best: Colm Tóibín

    The author, most recently, of “Nora Webster” recommends religious novels.

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    Golden Age Gossip

    Gable’s love affair with Lombard fascinated fans. Did they care that he was married when they met?

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    For Want of a King

    Many of the Founders, including John Adams, believed that the colonies belonged to the crown. They settled for a president.

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    The Future of Blackwater and Other Guns for Hire

    Paying for a soldier’s health care and retirement pension is far more costly than hiring contractors, even at exorbitant rates.

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    Huck Finn To the Rescue

    The author of ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’ seeks to re-establish the urgency of American literature to American readers.

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    Adam Smith: Guide to a Happy Life

    Society doesn’t enslave us, as Rousseau suggested. According to Smith, it liberates us from the worst part of ourselves.

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    Christopher Hill’s Undiplomatic Exit

    It wasn’t the ‘neocons’ who torpedoed the ambassador’s dream of a ‘blockbuster deal’ with North Korea, but dictator Kim Jong Il.

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    The Original Rockefeller Republican

    Kept from the public during Nelson Rockefeller’s 35-year political career were his compulsive philandering and his dyslexia.

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    Lincoln: A Cajoling, Bullying Manipulator

    The future president secretly bought a stake in an Illinois newspaper to gain sway over its readers.

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    The Great Emancipator, Bent Over His Commas

    Lincoln was, as Jacques Barzun observed in 1959, a ‘literary genius.’

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    They Fought for the Skies

    Compared with infantry slowly rotting away in the trenches, World War I pilots appeared as knights-errant.

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    Inflated Hopes

    Early airship experimenters found that insurance companies refused to quote rates for aerial liability.

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    Mud, Sweat and Beers

    Three-and-a-half million people tried obstacle course racing in 2013.

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    Why Aristotle Was Wrong

    The world’s first naturalist mixed notes made from directly observing animals with ludicrous mythical tales.

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    Those Were the Days

    Norman Lear’s parents lived ‘at the ends of their nerves and the tops of their lungs.’ Shades of Edith and Archie Bunker.

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    Fiction Chronicle: A Hero for Our Time

    The ‘Johnny Rotten of literature’ morphs into a Russian ultra-nationalist hoping to overthrow Yeltsin.

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    Tales of ‘The Princess Bride’

    Studios had no idea how to publicize a comical-tragical-pastoral-historical romance of postmodern derring-do.

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    Five Best: David Isay

    The founder of StoryCorps and author of “Ties That Bind” recommends books on lost worlds.

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    Children’s Books: Where All the Wonderful Things Come From

    Encounters with bandits, lions, hippos, antelopes—and charmingly nutty squirrels.

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    Going Gently Into the Night

    A surgeon learns the lesson formulated by Cicely Saunders, the founder of hospice care: ‘Last days need not be lost days.’

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    The Boys Who Tried to Protect Our Privacy

    Four idealists frustrated with Facebook’s control over our personal data set out to create an alternative. Why didn’t it work?

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    Adolf Eichmann’s Extraordinary Evil

    Hannah Arendt saw Adolf Eichmann as an unthinking bureaucrat. She never read the transcripts of his conversations after the war.

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    Walter Lippmann: Umpire of American Public Debate

    Certain that a return of investment confidence would restore prosperity, Lippmann criticized those that blamed Wall Street for the malaise.

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    A Leader Without a Pack

    Wesley Clark has a propensity to propose federal spending that would benefit industries with which he himself has been closely connected.

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    ‘The Birth of the Pill’

    How a Jewish biologist, an MIT-educated heiress and a Catholic doctor triggered the sexual revolution.

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    When Americans Loved a Frenchman

    Lafayette saw in Washington the image of Cato and other classical republican heroes, as well as his own father.

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    Ada Lovelace: The First Computer Programmer

    Her father was Lord Byron. Her mother was the ‘princess of parallelograms.’

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    The Leader of a Lost Cause

    Jefferson Davis faced fractious governors, a hostile press and obstruction from his own vice president.

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    Learning to Roomba

    A word processor might have saved Tolstoy enough time to write three more works like “War and Peace.”

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    A Novel Without Heroes

    Neel Mukherjee’s ‘The Lives of Others,’ nominated for the Man Booker Prize, is a doughty vindication of the social novel’s continuing importance.

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    Overcoming a Fear of Fish

    When you’re buying a whole fish, look for skin that sparkles and for eyes that are bright, not clouded.

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    Life in London Under the Blitz

    Did a bathtub meeting between Churchill and Harry Hopkins change the course of the war?

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    Next Door to Picasso

    Paul Rosenberg’s far-sighted promotion of the avant-garde may have saved his family from the Holocaust.

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    Can the Royal Rally Roll On?

    Decades ago, there was nothing exotic about the Royals reaching the postseason. But after a 29-year absence, Kansas City was rapt by the Royals’ return to the playoffs, which ended Wednesday with a heartbreaking loss in Game 7 of the World Series.

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