Wesley Yang, The Souls of Yellow Folk

The Souls of Yellow Folk by Wesley Yang My rating: 4 of 5 stars It was once a pop-socio-psychological commonplace of American foreign-policy commentary that terrorism on behalf of political Islam was motivated less by ideology and more by an intractable reality of gender: young men with no prospects in their societies will inevitably become … Continue reading Wesley Yang, The Souls of Yellow Folk

Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters

The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters by Frances Stonor Saunders My rating: 4 of 5 stars Someone once said that beneath or behind all political and cultural warfare lies a struggle between secret societies. —Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo (1972) This 1999 book by British journalist Saunders is the … Continue reading Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters

Cynthia Ozick, The Din in the Head

The Din in the Head by Cynthia Ozick My rating: 3 of 5 stars This 2006 essay collection begins with an appreciation of Susan Sontag, who had died in 2004. Ozick retells Sontag's intellectual biography, from avant-garde champion of the counterculture in the 1960s to defender of traditional high culture in the 1990s. And while … Continue reading Cynthia Ozick, The Din in the Head