Book Reviews

10 dezembro, 2006

86) Melhores livros do New York Times

Uma seleção puramente pessoal)

Da lista dos 10 melhores livros do ano do suplemento literário do NYT:

Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.
By Lawrence Wright. Alfred A. Knopf, $27.95.
In the fullest account yet of the events that led to the fateful day, Wright unmasks the secret world of Osama bin Laden and his collaborators and also chronicles the efforts of a handful of American intelligence officers alert to the approaching danger but frustrated, time and again, in their efforts to stop it. Wright, a staff writer for The New Yorker, builds his heart-stopping narrative through the patient and meticulous accumulation of details and through vivid portraits of Al Qaeda's leaders. Most memorably, he tells the story of John O'Neill, the tormented F.B.I. agent who worked frantically to prevent the impending terrorist attack, only to die in the World Trade Center.

A Story of Courage, Community, and War.
By Nathaniel Philbrick. Viking, $29.95.
This absorbing history of the Plymouth Colony is a model of revisionism. Philbrick impressively recreates the pilgrims' dismal 1620 voyage, bringing to life passengers and crew, and then relates the events of the settlement and its first contacts with the native inhabitants of Massachusetts. Most striking are the parallels he subtly draws with the present, particularly in his account of how Plymouth's leaders, including Miles Standish, rejected diplomatic overtures toward the Indians, successful though they'd been, and instead pursued a "dehumanizing" policy of violent aggression that led to the needless bloodshed of King Philip's War.

Da lista dos 100 livros notáveis do ano:

AMERICA AT THE CROSSROADS: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy. By Francis Fukuyama. (Yale University, $25.) Parting ways with fellow neocons, Fukuyama censures their blunders and those of the Bush administration, and offers advice for the future.

THE COURTIER AND THE HERETIC: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World. By Matthew Stewart. (Norton, $25.95.) An unlikely page-turner about a 17th-century metaphysical duel, fought in deceit and intrigue, that continues to this day.

FIASCO: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. By Thomas E. Ricks. (Penguin Press, $27.95.) A comprehensive account, by a veteran Pentagon correspondent for The Washington Post, of how a bungled occupation fed a ballooning insurgency.

FIELD NOTES FROM A CATASTROPHE: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. By Elizabeth Kolbert. (Bloomsbury, $22.95.) A global tour of the evidence, with scientists the author meets along the way doing most of the talking.

THE GHOST MAP: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic — and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. By Steven Johnson. (Riverhead, $26.95.) How John Snow answered the riddle of cholera in 1854.

PROGRAMMING THE UNIVERSE: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos. By Seth Lloyd. (Knopf, $25.95.) An M.I.T. professor seeks to explain the fundamental workings of the universe by equating it with a new device called a quantum computer.

READING LIKE A WRITER: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. By Francine Prose. (HarperCollins, $23.95.) How to read with writerly sensitivity, with reference to the masters.

THE WAR OF THE WORLD: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. By Niall Ferguson. (Penguin Press, $35.) A panoramic moral analysis of an age of military-industrial slaughter.


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