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Jul 17, 2005 7:39 am

More Noted Things ...

In case you haven't read Tim Burke's"Book Notes: Theory's Empire" at Easily Distracted, be sure to do so. It's generated fine discussions both there and at Unfogged.

Check out"In the First Person, an on-line index to letters, diaries, oral histories and personal narratives." It's a remarkable research tool. I've made use of it already. Thanks to Sharon Howard for the tip.

Michael Kimmelman's"What Price Love? Museums Sell Out," New York Times, 17 July, argues that short-sighted financial interests threaten to undermine long-term mission in American museums.

A substantial chunk of David von Drehle,"Fighting Words," Washington Post Magazine, 17 July, repeats the argument made by Caleb McDaniel's"Blogging in the Early Republic," Common-Place, 5 (July 2005). Thanks to Kevin Drum at Political Animal and Margaret Soltan at University Diaries for the tip.

It's mid-summer and editors are feeling our guilt about light reading. You're not going to be doing heavy theory or research at the beach this summer, but editors of two magazines suggest something more nourishing than romance novels. Here are their lists of five to read this summer:

Peter Ackroyd, Chaucer
Steven Biel, American Gothic
Edwin S. Gaustad, Roger Williams
Christopher Hitchens, Thomas Jefferson
Andrew Roberts, Waterloo: June 18 1815

Christianity Today:
Roland Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther
Thomas Cahill, The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels
Elizabeth Dodds, Marriage to a Difficult Man: The Uncommon Union of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards
Paul C. Gutjahr, An American Bible: A History of the Good Book from 1777-1880
Barbara Reynolds, The Passionate Intellect: Dorothy L. Sayer's Encounter with Dante

The second list looks more problematic to me than the first. Bainton's biography of Luther is awfully good, but it is 50 years old now and I'd be more inclined to tackle Reynolds' biography of Sayers or, even, her edition of Sayers' letters before a more specialized work. In comments, feel free to criticize these recommendations and recommend your own list of five books for summer reading.
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