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Jan 12, 2012

Modern History Notes

Avner Shapira previews Eli Friedlander's Walter Benjamin: A Philosophical Portrait for Haaretz, 30 December. This year marks the 120th anniversary of Benjamin's birth. Michael O'Donnell, "The Last Days of Hugh Trevor-Roper," Washington Monthly, Jan/Feb, reviews Adam Sisman's An Honourable Englishman: The Life of Hugh Trevor-Roper.

Jeff Stier, "Modern-Day Prohibition, Reason, January, reviews Christopher Snowdon's The Art of Suppression: Pleasure, Panic and Prohibition Since 1800.

Tristram Hunt reviews Bill Cash's John Bright: Statesman, Orator, Agitator for the Guardian, 6 January.

Evelyne Payen-VariƩras, "Disorder in Modernity: A New Revisionist History of Railroads in the U.S.," Books & Ideas, 12 August, reviews Richard White's Railroaded. The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America.

Sarah Fay, "Sex and Prophecy," The Book, 10 January, reviews David Lodge's biographical novel of H. G. Wells, A Man of Parts.

Corey Robin, "The Conservative Reaction," CHE, 8 January, is adapted from his book, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism From Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin. Robin won the Cliopatria Award, 2011 for Best Writer. Bernard Porter reviews Cita Stelzer's Dinner with Churchill: Policy-Making at the Dinner Table for History Today, 19 December. Michael Kimmage, "A Consequential Man," The Book, 9 January, reviews Carl T. Bogus's Buckley: William F. Buckley Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism.

James M. Murphy, "The man who started the sexual revolution," TLS, 4 January, reviews Christopher Turner's Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the invention of sex.

John Schmalzbauer, "The Marginalization of Evangelical Scholarship (Among Evangelicals)," C^rdus/Comment, 14 December, and Molly Worthen, "The Evangelical Brain Trust," NYT, 6 January, review Randall Stephens and Karl Giberson's The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age.

David Runciman, "Will we be all right in the end?" LRB, 5 January, argues that, faced with its current crisis, Europe is likely to drift. William Drozdiak reviews Walter Laqueur's The End of the European Dream and the Decline of a Continent for the Washington Post, 6 January.

Finally, to recognize the most "angry, funny and trenchant" in book reviewing, The Omnivore has established its hatchet job of the year award. On this year's shortlist: Mary Beard for her review of Robert Hughes's Rome in the Guardian, 2 July, and Leo Robson for his review of Richard Bradford's Martin Amis: The Biography in the New Statesman, 14 November.

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