Best of the Moment
Adam Shatz | New York Review Of Books | 29th October 2013
Review of first volume of Stanley Crouch's "enchanting" biography, Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker. Covers first 21 years of Parker's life, by which time he was already claiming his place as "the most imaginative improviser in jazz since Louis Armstrong, and the most influential saxophonist in its history". Took up saxophone at 15, heroin at 17. Crouch's book, 30 years in the making, "reads more like a novel"
Toby Ash | Five Books | 26th October 2013
On the strengths and weaknesses of economics, and books that economists should read to understand the world. "You can’t understand how the financial crisis came about without understanding the politics of the relationship between the financial sector and government and the anthropology of the cultures of these organisations, or indeed without appreciating the history of bubbles and financial crises"
Tom Chivers | Telegraph | 29th October 2013
Discworld creator is clever and charming as ever — but suffering perceptibly from Alzheimer's. "I start to notice, as the interview progresses, that while he is giving me fascinating answers – long, discursive stories about all sorts of things – they’re not quite answers to the questions I actually asked ... He wants to die at a time of his choosing, in his Wiltshire garden, drinking an excellent brandy and listening to his iPod"
Andrew O'Hagan | London Review Of Books | 30th October 2013
Recollections of meetings and conversations with Norman Mailer, entwined with a review of Norman Mailer: A Double Life, an authorised biography by Michael Lennon. "I’m glad he found violence so fascinating and feminism such a challenge. His views raised the stakes and plumbed the depths, and he himself became like an Emersonian over-man, pitting civilisation against nature. At his height he had a wonderful talent shot with psychosis"
Jonathan Stock | Spiegel | 30th October 2013
Joshua Milton Blahyi, the former General Butt Naked, killed at least 20,000 with extreme cruelty during Liberia's long civil war. Now he preaches Christianity and begs forgiveness from his surviving victims. It might be a cynical game — but why bother, in a country with no punishment for war crimes? Another warlord, General Prince Johnson, who tortured and bled the former president to death, is a senator in parliament
Thought for the day:
"A rational person cannot seek to confirm their beliefs, only to test them"— Chris Hallquist