this week's review

Search amazon:






Enter keywords:

Robert Caro
  • The Power Broker
    When I was a child at Christmas riding in the back seat across one of New York's cheerily illuminated bridges I asked my parents why we had to pay tolls when it seemed likely that the bridge had already been paid for. Why I remember asking that I don't know, but I'm glad I do because here I am now 25 years later with the answer: Robert Moses, who for 40+ years almost singlehandedly shaped the face of New York City for better (nice beaches and parks) and worse (the LIE). Brilliant and ambitious, Moses's acquisition of power and the bad things he did with it is unlike anything I've read--except for Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which details Hitler's backroom powergrabs and eventual undoing due to hubris in much the same thoughtful and thorough manner.

Carl Jensen and Project Censored

Charles Kaiser
  • The Gay Metropolis
    A charming history of gay life in New York City (and by extension, the world) from 1940-1996. Scholars will dig the history, gossips will exult in learning who was doing whom. It has those tersely journalistic minichapters that keep you reading "just one more" until three in the morning. A good book for toilet visits, subway reads (about two stops to digest a section), or curling up on the couch by an open window in winter waiting for snow. It is by turns witty, lurid, hilarious, informative, erotic, and touching--all the elements which comprise daily life in New York City. The Gay Metropolis is an intellectual turn-on, whether you're gay, straight or in between. You don't have to be gay to read it, though it might make you wish you were if you're not.

Frances Moore Lappe
  • Diet for a Small Planet
    Excellent introductory essay goes into nutritional reasons why meat is not necessary, followed by practical recipes for everyday use. For anyone who ever thought vegetarianism would take too much time and effort. Special attention is paid to getting enough protein and B vitamins—two of the reasons most often cited by those who claim they can't do without meat.

Noel Mostert
    Originally serialized in the New Yorker in the wake of the early 1970's energy crisis, this book is an in-depth history and analysis of the biggest moving objects ever built: oil supertankers. Read full review...

Howard Zinn
  • A People's History of the United States: 1492 - Present
    Wanna get depressed, indignant, and possibly radicalized? This well-documented and meticulously researched book replaces with plain facts the lies, myths, and propaganda that has for hundreds of years constituted "American history" as it has been recorded and taught in schools. They say history is written by the winners, and the winners since the time of Columbus's "discovery" of America have been members of a ruling elite (Columbus's patrons, British colonial governors, the founding fathers, robber barons, corporation boards, bootleggers and Bushes) who stole the land, plundered its resources, committed genocide, enslaved Africans, exploited workers, waged wars for profit, and kept the majority of the population off-balance, cowed, and disorganized through unjust laws, political deceit, and deadly force.

fiction | non-fiction | art | comix | poetry
© 1999 robert zverina