Saturday, August 19, 2017

Harry Turtledove, How Few Remain

Well, I enjoyed American War, but little did I know about Harry Turtledove and his "Southern Victory" saga, an alternative history in which the South wins the Civil War. I swear, this is just what I need right now, lol.

More about these books later.

Meanwhile, at Amazon, Harry Turtledove, How Few Remain (Southern Victory).

Anton Myrer, Once an Eagle

This book's apparently required reading in the Marine Corps, said to be one of the best books ever written on moral leadership.

At Amazon, Anton Myrer, Once an Eagle.

Stephen Kotkin, Stalin

This is one I'm really excited about. It's out on Halloween.

At Amazon, Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941.

Anna Funder, Stasiland

At Amazon, Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall.

Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time

At Amazon, Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets.

Shop Today

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

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Still more, KIND Breakfast Dark Chocolate Cocoa and Peanut Butter Variety Pack, 16 Count.

BONUS: William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932.

Steve Bannon Out

Well, this is the crazy big news at Memeorandum.

Here's the story at the Los Angeles Times, "Steve Bannon out as Trump's chief strategist."

He's not the kind of guy to sit around and pout. Apparently he was chairing Breitbart's editorial meeting yesterday, with big plans for a post-White House agenda.

See, "Steve Bannon Speaks After White House Departure: 'I'm Going to War for Trump'." (At Memeorandum.)

Wilber Smith, River God

At Amazon, Wilber Smith, River God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Novels of Ancient Egypt).

Alexa Ray Joel Gets Sexy (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Margaret George, The Autobiography of Henry VIII

At Amazon, Margaret George, The Autobiography of Henry VIII - With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers: A Novel.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Anya Seton, Katherine

At Amazon, Anya Seton, Katherine.

Evelyn Taft's Solar Eclipse Forecast

She's got your epic eclipse weather forecast, lol.

The lovely Ms. Evelyn, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Alison Weir, The Life of Elizabeth

At Amazon, Alison Weir, The Life of Elizabeth.

G.J. Meyer, The Tudors


G.J. Meyer, The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty.

Richard Miles, Carthage Must Be Destroyed

At Amazon, Richard Miles, Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization.

ICYMI: Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song

At Amazon, Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song.

Ken Follett, A Column of Fire

It turns out Ken Follett had a blockbuster sensation with the publication of his medieval novel, The Pillars of the Earth (1989). That was followed up by a second volume of a trilogy, World Without End (2007).

So now he's got the third installment coming out on September 12. At Amazon, A Column of Fire.
In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love.

Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.

The real enemies, then as now, are not the rival religions. The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else—no matter what the cost.

Set during one of the most turbulent and revolutionary times in history, A Column of Fire is one of Follett’s most exciting and ambitious works yet. It will delight longtime fans of the Kingsbridge series and is the perfect introduction for readers new to Ken Follett.

Jennifer Connelly, 46, Flaunts Age-Defying Figure in Skimpy Bright Yellow Bikini

She's nice. At London's Daily Mail, "PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Sizzling Jennifer Connelly, 46, displays her sensational age-defying figure in a bright yellow skimpy bikini as she frolics on Ibiza beach with husband Paul Bettany."

British Foreign Office Warns More Terror Attacks Likely

Millions of Brits visit Spain for summer vacation, creating a target-rich environment for Islamic State jihadists.

At London's Daily Mail, "Europol chief warns British tourists they face highest threat in Europe for a generation - but there WON'T be refunds for holidaymakers who want to cancel or come home: Foreign Office warns over one million Britons to be vigilant while visiting Spain."

Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Barcelona Truck Jihad Attack (VIDEO)

At the Other McCain, "Neo-Nazi Alt-Right Trump Supporter Commits Racist Terrorism in … SPAIN?"

And Hot Air, "Second Attack: Spanish Police Kill Four Terror Suspects in Town 0f Cambrils."

More at Telegraph U.K., "Live - Barcelona and Cambrils: Terrorists planned bigger attacks, police reveal amid hunt for van driver - latest news."

Faith Goldy Fired from Rebel Media

I mentioned this before. If Rebel Media reporters go too far right, hanging out with white supremacists, and so forth, that's too much for Ezra Levant. And it's too much for me.

Faith is pretty righteous. Frankly, I'm surprised she'd go and interview with the Daily Stormer, a KKK/neo-Nazi stronghold. But it is what it is. She'll land on her feet, no doubt.

I fully support this, though. Ezra's totally pro-Israel and anti-racist, just like me.!

Here's Ezra:

Paul Joseph Watson Demonetized at YouTube (VIDEO)

I was just starting to warm up to the dude, lol.

Shop Books on Fascism

At Amazon, "Fascism."

See especially, Julius Evola, Fascism Viewed from the Right.

Mark Bray, Antifa

Out September 12. And it's certainly timely.

At Amazon, Mark Bray, Antifa: The Anti-Fascist.

Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

At Amazon, Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here (Signet Classics).

David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left - Volume 4

David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left - Volume 4: Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews.

Peter H. Merkl and Leonard Weinberg, Encounters With the Contemporary Radical Right

At Amazon, Encounters With the Contemporary Radical Right.

President Trump Puts 'Shrinking Base' Before 'National Healing'

There's so much to question about this report at the Los Angeles Times. Is Trump's base really "shrinking"? It wasn't particularly big in the first place, at around 40 percent. And why are we having a "national healing" over Charlottesville? It's not that different from the police massacres in New York and Dallas, where BLM supporters hunted down to policeman for execution. It's the national double standard that we live with today, and it's what's dividing the country. That, and the Obama administration's 8-year campaign of race grievance-mongering.

At LAT, "Trump shuns healing gestures, redoubling support for Confederate memorials and slamming fellow Republicans":
President Trump, increasingly isolated, appears caught in a cycle of anger and provocation as he pushes wider the nation’s longstanding racial and cultural divide to solidify his dwindling base of populist political support.

The latest examples came Thursday: Trump further inflamed the incendiary debate over the nation’s Confederate memorials, saying American culture was “being ripped apart” by their removal; lashed out at some perceived Senate enemies; and repeated a religiously offensive myth about an American general using bullets bathed in pigs’ blood to kill Muslim terrorists.

His fusillade came throughout the day on Twitter even as critics, including in Trump’s party, implored him to instead try to unite the nation. As the restive president ostensibly vacationed at his golf club in New Jersey, his unnerved aides were left to deal with the fallout from his tweets and verbal blasts in the days since Saturday, when white separatists provoked deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va.

For Trump, the challenge of governing has grown ever more daunting since he took office in January without the usual bounce of popularity for a new president. As his support has declined, he has relied more on his most ardent supporters, who generally are white, older, nonurban and deeply conservative.

Yet by his efforts to please the hard-right activists, the president is pushing mainstream supporters further away. Polls show his job approval rating below 40%, sometimes dipping into the low 30s, and they suggest his core support — the people who say they will never abandon him — amounts to about 1 in 4 Americans.

That base, together with some more moderate voters who hoped Trump would use his impulsiveness and business instincts to shake up Washington, allowed him to eke out a narrow electoral college victory against an unpopular Hillary Clinton. But governing has been a struggle, diminishing Trump’s leverage over congressional Republicans the more they fear his unpopularity will imperil their majorities.

Trump struck back hard with his Twitter finger Thursday from early morning on, all but endorsing the Republican opponent of Jeff Flake, a GOP senator from Arizona who has criticized him, and assailing local efforts to remove monuments to Confederate heroes.

After news broke of a terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, the president repeated a dubious myth he previously invoked on the campaign trail, to much criticism, about a general who used bullets coated in pigs’ blood to execute insurgents in the Philippines in the early 20th century​; to followers of Islam, pigs are impure.

“Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught,” Trump tweeted. “There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”

Trump’s quick condemnation of the Barcelona carnage as a terrorist attack, and his suggestion that Muslims were at fault, came before Spanish authorities had released conclusive information. As such, Trump’s rapid response contrasted with his slowness in calling out the white supremacists in Charlottesville — blame he rescinded on Tuesday, when he said “both sides” were culpable for violence there — and contradicted his claim in that instance that he only comments on such incidents after all the facts are known.

Trump still has not called the fatal attack in Charlottesville, in which a car driven by an alleged white supremacist plowed into a crowd, an act of terrorism...
Still more (FWIW).

Save on Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Set (8-Piece)

At Amazon, Cuisinart MCP-8NW MultiClad Pro Set (8-Piece).

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BONUS: Neal Stephenson, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel.

Diarmaid MacCulloch, All Things Made New

At Amazon, Diarmaid MacCulloch, All Things Made New: The Reformation and Its Legacy.

Christopher Kelly, The End of Empire

At Amazon, Christopher Kelly, The End of Empire: Attila the Hun & the Fall of Rome.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Guy de la Bédoyère, Praetorian


This one looks particularly exciting!

At Amazon, Guy de la Bédoyère, Praetorian: The Rise and Fall of Rome's Imperial Bodyguard.

Victor Davis Hanson, A War Like No Other

Victor Davis Hanson, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.

Cullen Murphy, Are We Rome?

This is something I've obviously been thinking about, although clearly the U.S. is a vastly more powerful empire (if we're an "empire") than Rome ever was.

But still, it's what comes to mind sometimes.

At Amazon, Cullen Murphy, Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America.

#FakeNews CNN: There'll Be Questions About Whether Barcelona Attack Was 'Copycat' of #Charlottesville

This is so stupid.

Islamic State called for "truck attacks" and any attacks deploying civilian-use weapons of mass destruction. Wolf Blitzer knows this. He's just parroting left-wing talking points, which is sad, since I've respected the guy.

Watch, at Free Beacon, "CNN: There Will Be Questions About Whether Barcelona Attack Was ‘Copycat’ of Charlottesville."

This Week's Cover at the 'New Yorker'

Okay. That's it.

I'm out for the rest of the day. You'll get books, babe, and weather reports today, and then maybe back to politics tomorrow.

Our society's gone insane.

Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

Readers will find Neal Stephenson an interesting change of pace. According to Wikipedia, "His novels have been categorized as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk, postcyberpunk, and baroque."

Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon.

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

I don't see copies of Thomas Pynchon's books when I'm out shopping at used bookstores. But he's regularly cited in jacket blurbs and his stuff comes up on Amazon, in the "what others bought" prompts, and so forth. In any case, I'll keep looking while I'm out and about.

Meanwhile, at Amazon, Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow.

Gigi Hadid for Vogue Korea: September 2017

I didn't even now there was a Vogue Korea. I checked it on Twitter and it was all in Korean, so it figures.

Still, this is one of the hottest Vogue covers I've seen.

At London's Daily Mail, "Playing with fire! Gigi Hadid flashes toned torso in red turtleneck and black she graces TWO covers of Vogue Korea."

'For marginalized communities, the power of expression is impoverished for reasons that have little to do with the First Amendment...'

Terrible. Disgusting. Reprehensible.

I saw folks retweeting this New York Times piece this morning. It's from K-Sue Park, who's a "Critical Race Studies Fellow at UCLA School of Law for 2017-2019," of course.

See, "The A.C.L.U. Needs to Rethink Free Speech." (Safe link.)

Althouse comments:
Contextual... creative... holistic... these are the subtleties that grease the way to the end of constitutional rights.

Thanks to the ACLU for standing up for free speech where it counts — when the speaker is hated.

You can donate to the ACLU here.
Click through to hit that donate button at Althouse.

ICYMI: Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire

My earlier entry is here.

And at Amazon, Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae.

Australia Senator Wears Full Burka in Parliament

At Disneyland last week I saw a woman going around the park in a full burka, specifically with the niqab, the facial veil the covers everything except the eyes. And I'm thinking, did she have to take that off to get her picture taken? You see, when you buy your park ticket now, they scan the barcode on the ticket and take your picture. So, when you leave the park or come back in, or cross over from California Adventures to the old Disneyland, they scan the barcode and your picture pops up on the handheld device. It's really awesome technology. I noticed some of the staff don't even look at the picture, but then another (older gentleman) scanned our tickets and was very carefully looking at the mug shots.

I think it's great!

But, then there's the question? Did the lady have to take off her niqab? My wife said they just probably took the photo with the niqab on, but then anyone could put on that niqab and use her ticket to get into the park, which defeats the purpose of the technology.

In any case, this piece, at NYT, got me thinking:

Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song

While out yesterday I visited a used bookstore in Sherman Oaks and picked up a cheap paperback copy of Norman Mailer's Ancient Evenings. Well, my niece started high school yesterday, and after my sister and I picked her up, the two of them had to run into Staples for some school supplies. I waited out in the car. Wouldn't you know it, they ran into another mom from the community, and they were shooting the bull inside the store for like a half-an-hour. I'm like wtf is taking so long? Meanwhile, I'm in the car reading this novel. I didn't think I was going to start in on another book so soon, but what can you do? And it turns out Mailer's an interesting writer.

So, I'll look for a cheap copy of this one as well, a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. At Amazon, Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song.

Andrew Wheatcroft, The Enemy at the Gate

At Amazon, Andrew Wheatcroft, The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans, and the Battle for Europe.

#Antifa is the Resurgence of Anti-War Movement, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter

From Brandon Darby, at Breitbart.

That is it. That is exactly it.

Barcelona Truck Jihad Massacre: At Least 13 Slaughtered (VIDEO)


Those white supremacists are spreading everywhere, and fast!

At Pamela, "Jihad Slaughter in Barcelona: AT LEAST 13 DEAD, dozens injured as van RAMS into crowd outside kosher restaurant."

Also, at Telegraph U.K., "Live: Barcelona terror attack: van crashes into crowd at La Rambla, killing 'at least 13'."

The suspect, who's in custody, posted (then Facebook removed) as "an anti-Semitic video alleging a global Jewish conspiracy." (Here and here.)

And at CNN, FWIW:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Danielle Gersh's Sunny and Warm Forecast

I spent the day with my younger sister in Studio City, hence blogging's been light. Of course, I'm not into political blogging that much right now, anyway, since everything's so stupid.

It was a nice visit, in any case. I need to spend more time up that way. There's more used book stores, for one thing, and I want to go to the Reagan Library. (I'd spend the night at my sister's and head up to Simi Valley early in the morning.) And that's not to mention all the art museums up there as well. Maybe next summer?

More later.

Meanwhile, here's the lovely Ms. Danielle with the local weather. It's been quite mild. Normally late August and September's the hottest time of the year.

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Shop Deals

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

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Here, Top Quality in Car Audio.

BONUS: Stephen Dando-Collins, Mark Antony's Heroes: How the Third Gallica Legion Saved an Apostle and Created an Emperor.

Adrian Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome


At Amazon, Adrian Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire.

The Real Race War

From David Horowitz, at FrontPage Magazine:
The tragedy in Charlottesville could have been an occasion to stop and consider how the tolerance for politically correct violence and politically correct hatred is leading the nation towards civil war. Instead the media and the political left have turned this incident into the biggest fake news story of the summer, transforming its real lessons into a morality play that justifies war against the political right, and against white people generally.

The organizers of the “Unite the Right” demonstration in Charlottesville were repellent racists. But they came to defend a historic monument honoring a complex man and cause, and not to attack it or presumably anyone else. They applied for a permit and were denied. They re-applied successfully in a petition supported by the local ACLU. If they had come to precipitate violence, why would they have gone to the tedious trouble of applying for a permit? Who knows what – if anything – would have happened if that had been the end of the story and no one had showed up to oppose them.

What “Unite the Right” actually demonstrated was that the assortment of neo-Nazis, pro-Confederates and assorted yahoos gathered under the banner of the “Alt-Right” is actually a negligible group. This was a national show of strength that actually attracted all of 500 people. Compare that to the tens of the thousands who can readily be marshalled by two violent groups of the left – Black Lives Matter and Antifa – and you get an idea of how marginal “white supremacists” are to America’s political and cultural life.

Yet “white supremacy” and its evils became the centerpiece of all the fake news reporting on the event, including all the ludicrous attacks on the president for not condemning enough a bogeyman the whole nation condemns, and that no one but a risible fringe supports. Talk about virtue signaling! Omitted from the media coverage were the other forces at work in precipitating the battle of Emancipation Park, specifically Black Lives Matter and Antifa, two violent leftwing groups with racial agendas who came to squelch the demonstration in defense of the monument.

Unlike the Unite the Right demonstrators, the leftist groups did not apply for permits, which would have been denied since there was another demonstration scheduled for that park on that day. But why should they have applied for a permit, since the havoc they had previously wreaked in Ferguson, Berkeley, Sacramento, Portland and other cities, was accomplished without permits, while their criminality was presented by the media as “protests,” and their rioting went completely unpunished.

In short, there were two demonstrations in Charlottesville - a legal protest by “Unite the Right” and an illegal protest by the vigilantes of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Who started the fight is really immaterial. Both sides were prepared for violence because these conflicts are already a pattern of our deteriorating civic life. Once the two sides had gathered in the same place, the violence was totally predictable. Two parties, two culpabilities; but except for the initial statement of President Trump, condemning both sides, only one party has been held accountable, and that happens to be the one that was in the park legally.

What is taking place in the media accounts and political commentaries on this event is an effort by the left to turn the mayhem in Charlottesville into a template for their war against a mythical enemy – “white supremacy” – which is really a war on white people generally. The ideology that drives the left and divides our country is “identity politics” – the idea that the world consists of two groups – “people of color” who are guiltless and oppressed, and white people who are guilty and oppressors. This is the real race war. Its noxious themes inform the mindless, hysterical hatred for President Trump, and the equally mindless support for racist mobs like Black Lives Matter and Antifa. It is a war from which no good can come. But it won’t be stopped unless enough people have the courage to stand up and name it for what it is.

Stephen Dando-Collins, Legions of Rome


At Amazon, Stephen Dando-Collins, Legions of Rome: The Definitive History of Every Imperial Roman Legion.

Barry Strauss, The Spartacus War


This one's apparently "the first popular history of the [Spartacus] revolt in English."

I'm enjoying Spartacus immensely, so this looks excellent.

At Amazon, Barry Strauss, The Spartacus War.

Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution


At Amazon, Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution.

Mary Beard, SPQR


At Amazon, Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome.

Charles Krauthammer Slams President Trump's Tuesday Press Conference as 'Moral Disgrace' (VIDEO)

I actually saw the headline at Free Beacon first, "Krauthammer Spars With Ingraham on Trump’s Presser: It ‘Was a Moral Disgrace’."

But I had to watch it for myself, and Fox News posted the full exchange to YouTube. I get it. Trump's supposed to rise above. He's supposed to be "presidential" and non-equivocating. And I love Charles Krauthammer too. I really do. But on this one, Laura Ingraham's got a better pulse on the politics. She's especially correct that no matter what Trump said he was going to be pilloried by his opponents, people who hate him on both the right and left. It's pretty riveting.

From last night:

PREVIOUSLY: "President Trump Criticizes 'Alt-Left' Groups in #Charlottesville (VIDEO)."

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire

I'm doing well with Colleen McCullough's The First Man in Rome. I'm almost 100 pages in and I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. As I've mentioned at some point, with novels I know pretty quickly if I'm going to like the book. When the pages fly by, it's going to be a pleasure. When you're wading through, grinding it out and daydreaming of other things, it's work. And that's not going to work out. So, more about McCullough later. I've got all of her books in the "Masters of Rome" series (well, actually, the last two are being delivered shortly, The October Horse [2002] and Antony and Cleopatra [2007]). I do recommend them, for sure, so click heavily on the links if you're inclined.

That said, I've found a few other things of significant interest in my used bookstore puttering. Especially noteworthy, for a cheap paperback, is Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae.

Apparently this one's frequently copied but rarely matched. And the cover blurbs are effusive. It's going to be one or two more books in the future for me, but it'll be a quick read. Go ahead and get yours at Amazon.

More later.

'Dying together was their deepest wish...'

Maybe if it truly was "their deepest wish"? Maybe if there were young, legally-informed family members around to guard against malicious state "health" officials. Then maybe, just maybe, I could accept this. I'm still skeptical, though. I just am.

At Althouse, "'Nic and Trees Elderhorst, both 91, died [together, by euthanasia] in their hometown of Didam, in the Netherlands, after 65 years of marriage'."

It's the Netherlands. I'm not at all confident the Netherlands is all that different from Iceland when it comes to protecting life. Did you see this? "Monstrous: 'Iceland is on pace to virtually eliminate Down syndrome through abortion'."

I'm for life. I don't like the European, or Nordic or whatever, approach to "human compassion." It's evil.

President Trump Criticizes 'Alt-Left' Groups in #Charlottesville (VIDEO)

I've had a long day working on my materials for my classes. Plus, I did some puttering around again this afternoon at my used bookstores. I'm a little tired. But tuning in to the news makes me even more tired. I'm tired of all the identity politics all the time. Seriously, it's physically, emotionally, and intellectually draining. I'd prefer not to deal with it, because there's very little truth involved in what most people are saying.

Here's the headline at the New York Times, via Memeorandum, "A Combative Trump Criticizes ‘Alt-Left’ Groups in Charlottesville."

I obviously think both sides should be criticized. There's no defense of neo-Confederates and Nazis, clearly. There shouldn't be a defense of radical left "antifa" groups either, although all kinds of folks --- including major mass-media types --- are praising "alt-left" activists for "standing up" to racism.

I can't even any more. This is just too stupid. America has become too stupid as a country. The beltway and coastal elites, along with the fake news MSM, are leading the country down to the lowest common denominator. And we're talking really low. Handball against the curb low. And to think, I'm reading elevated history and philosophy (like Bertrand Russell!) and I have have a sense of near helplessness and futility in hoping to personally turn things around. But then, no worries. I'm a professor. Some students will take away some knowledge and wisdom from my classes this fall. The SJWs won't learn at thing, of course, and I can't help them. They're truly a lost cause.

In any case, here's some video for you. I'm going to blog more books tonight. That's what's keeping me sane. Books, and bikini babes, heh.

PREVIOUSLY: "Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?"

Robert Tombs, The English and Their History


I'm lining up some books on British history. Like Rome, it's a big subject. Besides the general history book here or there, I'll start with the Tudors and work back and forth.

For now, though, check out Robert Tombs, at Amazon, The English and Their History.

Today's Deals

Thanks for shopping through my Amazon links. It's greatly appreciated!

Here, Today's Gold Box Deals.

Also, see especially, BLACK AND DECKER D2530 Digital Advantage Professional Steam Iron.

More, Pure Leaf Iced Tea, Unsweetened, Real Brewed Black Tea, 0 Calories, 18.5 Ounce (Pack of 12).

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BONUS: Ricky Megee, Left for Dead: How I Survived 71 Days in the Outback.

Barry Strauss, The Death of Caesar

At Amazon, Barry Strauss, The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination.

It’s Not Just Google — All of Silicon Valley Has a Trust Problem Now

That's for sure.

At Instapundit, "MY USA TODAY COLUMN: It’s not just Google — all of Silicon Valley has a trust problem now. “When a gigantic corporation that controls our data and knows us intimately takes a controversial political stance, it ought to make us worry”."

Adrian Goldsworthy, Caesar


At Amazon, Adrian Goldsworthy, Caesar: Life of a Colossus.

Haley Kalil, Miss Minnesota 2014, for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (VIDEO)


Demi Rose Strips Down

At the Sun U.K., "PEACH ON THE BEACHDemi: Demi Rose strips off naked and shows off her incredible bum for sexy new photoshoot in Santorini - The stunning model stripped nude as she prepared to indulge in a spot of hot tub skinny dipping on the Greek island."

Also, at London's Daily Mail, "Sultry Demi Rose Mawby leaves little to the imagination in completely NAKED beach shoot."

And on Twitter.

Anne Hathaway Nude Photos Leaked (NSFW)

At Drunken Stepfather, "Anne Hathaway Alleged Nudes I Won’t Post Cuz of Lawsuits and Stuff."

Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?

So far, it's a cold civil war, waged on the battlefields of politics and culture. But things are heating up, seriously.

Here's Robin Wright, at the New Yorker, "The recent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a white-supremacist rally has stoked some Americans’ fears of a new civil war":
A day after the brawling and racist brutality and deaths in Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe asked, “How did we get to this place?” The more relevant question after Charlottesville—and other deadly episodes in Ferguson, Charleston, Dallas, Saint Paul, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, and Alexandria—is where the United States is headed. How fragile is the union, our republic, and a country that has long been considered the world’s most stable democracy? The dangers are now bigger than the collective episodes of violence. “The radical right was more successful in entering the political mainstream last year than in half a century,” the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in February. The organization documents more than nine hundred active (and growing) hate groups in the United States.

America’s stability is increasingly an undercurrent in political discourse. Earlier this year, I began a conversation with Keith Mines about America’s turmoil. Mines has spent his career—in the U.S. Army Special Forces, the United Nations, and now the State Department—navigating civil wars in other countries, including Afghanistan, Colombia, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. He returned to Washington after sixteen years to find conditions that he had seen nurture conflict abroad now visible at home. It haunts him. In March, Mines was one of several national-security experts whom Foreign Policy asked to evaluate the risks of a second civil war—with percentages. Mines concluded that the United States faces a sixty-per-cent chance of civil war over the next ten to fifteen years. Other experts’ predictions ranged from five per cent to ninety-five per cent. The sobering consensus was thirty-five per cent. And that was five months before Charlottesville.

“We keep saying, ‘It can’t happen here,’ but then, holy smokes, it can,” Mines told me after we talked, on Sunday, about Charlottesville. The pattern of civil strife has evolved worldwide over the past sixty years. Today, few civil wars involve pitched battles from trenches along neat geographic front lines. Many are low-intensity conflicts with episodic violence in constantly moving locales. Mines’s definition of a civil war is large-scale violence that includes a rejection of traditional political authority and requires the National Guard to deal with it. On Saturday, McAuliffe put the National Guard on alert and declared a state of emergency.

Based on his experience in civil wars on three continents, Mines cited five conditions that support his prediction: entrenched national polarization, with no obvious meeting place for resolution; increasingly divisive press coverage and information flows; weakened institutions, notably Congress and the judiciary; a sellout or abandonment of responsibility by political leadership; and the legitimization of violence as the “in” way to either conduct discourse or solve disputes.

President Trump “modeled violence as a way to advance politically and validated bullying during and after the campaign,” Mines wrote in Foreign Policy. “Judging from recent events the left is now fully on board with this,” he continued, citing anarchists in anti-globalization riots as one of several flashpoints. “It is like 1859, everyone is mad about something and everyone has a gun.”
To test Mines’s conjecture, I reached out to five prominent Civil War historians this weekend. “When you look at the map of red and blue states and overlap on top of it the map of the Civil War—and who was allied with who in the Civil War—not much has changed,” Judith Giesberg, the editor of the Journal of the Civil War Era and a historian at Villanova University, told me. “We never agreed on the outcome of the Civil War and the direction the country should go in. The postwar amendments were highly contentious—especially the Fourteenth Amendment, which provides equal protection under the law—and they still are today. What does it mean to deliver voting rights to people of color? We still don’t know.”

She added, “Does that make us vulnerable to a repeat of the past? I don’t see a repeat of those specific circumstances. But that doesn’t mean we are not entering something similar in the way of a culture war. We are vulnerable to racism, tribalism, and conflicting visions of the way forward for our nation.”

Anxiety over deepening schisms and new conflict has an outlet in popular culture: in April, Amazon selected the dystopian novel “American War”—which centers on a second U.S. civil war—as one of its best books of the month. In a review in the Washington Post, Ron Charles wrote, “Across these scarred pages rages the clash that many of us are anxiously speculating about in the Trump era: a nation riven by irreconcilable ideologies, alienated by entrenched suspicions . . . both poignant and horrifying.” The Times book reviewer noted, “It’s a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway.” The book’s author, Omar El Akkad, was born in Egypt and covered the war in Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, and the Ferguson protest as a journalist for Canada’s Globe and Mail...
Folks can see why I was so fascinated with El Akkad's book. I highly recommend it. Here, Omar El Akkad, American War.

And keep reading Wright's piece, here.

Tom Holland, Rubicon


This one comes highly recommended.

At Amazon, Tom Holland, Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic.

Ann Coulter, Demonic

I tweeted last night, "The left is just one big mob at this point. It's a collective descent into mob mentality, and from that comes mass murder. #Charlottesville."

And now I saw this one minutes ago, ".@AnnCoulter tried warning us. Liberalism is a demonic mentality that openly promotes violent mob uprisings to advance their agenda."

It's true.

And it's a great book, at Amazon, Ann Coulter, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America.

The Left Exploits the #Charlottesville Tragedy

From Joseph Klein, at FrontPage Mag, "Hypocritical left excuses its own violence while taking aim at Trump."

John Gooch, Mussolini and his Generals

Well, it's not Ancient Rome, although Benito Mussolini did claim that he'd turn the Mediterranean into a "Roman lake." It didn't quite turn out that way, but still, the history's interesting.

At Amazon, John Gooch, Mussolini and his Generals: The Armed Forces and Fascist Foreign Policy, 1922-1940.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Danielle Gersh's Warmup Forecast

It's been quite mild this last few days.

I'm enjoying my last couple of weeks of vacation. My syllabi are done, although I have a handout I need to prepare before I send everything to the copy shop. Other than that, as noted, I've been puttering around at used bookstores throughout the O.C. I'm not watching any news on TV, and reading as little as I can right now, frankly, as it's mostly fake news by preening morally suspect progs.

In any case, there's always the weather. Here's the fabulous Ms. Danielle, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy

The classic text.

I'm reviewing my copy to check out the impact of Ancient Rome on Western philosophy, since I'm immersing myself in this literature.

At Amazon, Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy.

Victor Davis Hanson, A War Like No Other

At Amazon, Victor Davis Hanson, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.

The Poison of Identity Politics

Following-up, "President Trump Repudiates White Supremacists: 'Racism is Evil' (VIDEO)."

An excellent editorial, at WSJ, "The return of white nationalism is part of a deeper ailment":
As ever in this age of Donald Trump, politicians and journalists are reducing the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday to a debate over Mr. Trump’s words and intentions. That’s a mistake no matter what you think of the President, because the larger poison driving events like those in Virginia is identity politics and it won’t go away when Mr. Trump inevitably does.

The particular pathology on display in Virginia was the white nationalist movement led today by the likes of Richard Spencer, David Duke and Brad Griffin. They alone are to blame for the violence that occurred when one of their own drove a car into peaceful protesters, killing a young woman and injuring 19 others.

The Spencer crowd courts publicity and protests, and they chose the progressive university town of Charlottesville with malice aforethought. They used the unsubtle Ku Klux Klan symbolism of torches in a Friday night march, and they seek to appear as political martyrs as a way to recruit more alienated young white men.

Political conservatives even more than liberals need to renounce these racist impulses, and the good news is that this is happening. The driver has been charged with murder under Virginia law, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions opened a federal civil-rights investigation and issued a statement condemning the violence: “When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.” Many prominent conservatives also denounced the white-nationalist movement.

Mr. Trump was widely criticized for his initial statement Saturday afternoon that condemned the hatred “on many sides” but failed to single out the white nationalists. Notably, David Duke and his allies read Mr. Trump’s statement as attacking them and criticized the President for doing so.

The White House nonetheless issued a statement Sunday saying Mr. Trump “includes white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups” in his condemnation. As so often with Mr. Trump, his original statement missed an opportunity to speak like a unifying political leader.

Yet the focus on Mr. Trump is also a cop-out because it lets everyone duck the deeper and growing problem of identity politics on the right and left. The politics of white supremacy was a poison on the right for many decades, but the civil-rights movement rose to overcome it, and it finally did so in the mid-1960s with Martin Luther King Jr. ’s language of equal opportunity and color-blind justice.

That principle has since been abandoned, however, in favor of a new identity politics that again seeks to divide Americans by race, ethnicity, gender and even religion. “Diversity” is now the all-purpose justification for these divisions, and the irony is that America is more diverse and tolerant than ever.

The problem is that the identity obsessives want to boil down everything in American life to these categories. In practice this means allocating political power, contracts, jobs and now even salaries in the private economy based on the politics of skin color or gender rather than merit or performance. Down this road lies crude political tribalism, and James Damore’s recent Google dissent is best understood as a cri de coeur that we should aspire to something better. Yet he lost his job merely for raising the issue.

A politics fixated on indelible differences will inevitably lead to resentments that extremists can exploit in ugly ways on the right and left. The extremists were on the right in Charlottesville, but there have been examples on the left in Berkeley, Oakland and numerous college campuses. When Democratic politicians can’t even say “all lives matter” without being denounced as bigots, American politics has a problem.

Mr. Trump didn’t create this identity obsession even if as a candidate he did try to exploit it. He is more symptom than cause, though as President he now has a particular obligation to renounce it. So do other politicians. Yet the only mission of nearly every Democrat we observed on the weekend was to use the “white supremacist” cudgel against Mr. Trump—as if that is the end of the story...
Still more.

Tom Holland, Persian Fire

At Amazon, Tom Holland, Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West.

President Trump Repudiates White Supremacists: 'Racism is Evil' (VIDEO)

No leftist will be satisfied. Trump gives a beautiful, heartfelt all-American statement, unequivocally rebuking far-right racist extremism.

But no leftist will be satisfied. I saw this morning progs on Twitter saying it didn't matter what Trump said, because they wouldn't believe him.

Whose hearts are filled with hatred again?

At Bloomberg, via Memeorandum, "Trump Denounces White Supremacists After Backlash."

Another thing: White supremacists are truly fringe. Whereas the violent, murderous communists of Black Lives Matter have been embraced by the entire left-wing establishment, which included at the time President Obama flying to Dallas to defend the genocidal racist organiztion.

There is no equivalence. Leftists have blood on their hands. They've mainstreamed groups like BLM, and now Antifa, with no concomitant backlash whatsoever.

This is why I'm not following politics closely right now. The mainstream media, the coastal progs, and the leftist Beltway establishment are evil hypocrisy incarnate.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan


At Amazon, Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan: A Novel.
The planet has become radioactive. Humans — or, the creatures that were once humans — live on a shelf suspended above the soil, their skin nearly translucent and tattooed with the literal stories of their own existence. There is only one person who can save them from a brutal overlord — a child soldier, destined to become a martyr to the cause of existence. This is her story; this is The Book of Joan (source).

Matthew Sullivan, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore


Here's something different. It looks wonderful.

At Amazon, Matthew Sullivan, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel.

Colleen McCullough, The Grass Crown

Following-up from Wednesday, "Colleen McCullough's 'Masters of Rome' Series."

I'm finishing-up Spartacus this afternoon. And I've already dipped into The First Man in Rome, which is the first book of McCollough's series.

Here's The Grass Crown.

Depending how much I buckle down and read, I'm normally going to finish a book like Spartacus in about three days. That's almost 100 pages a day. So, if I really clamp down on this, I could finish The First Man in Rome in about two weeks. But, as is my wont, I often have a couple of books going at the same time (to break up the monotony, I guess). I started Tom Holland's Rubicon yesterday, and it's great. Once the semester starts (on August 28th) I won't have as much time to dawdle with all these books. I read at night a bit during the semester, when there's nothing on TV I want to watch. I don't get through as many books. Summer's when I really get to range widely, so to speak. It's a lot of fun.

Thanks for your support!

The South's Hollywood Resurgence

Well, this isn't what you'd expect from the far-left Los Angeles Times: an amazingly sympathetic and refreshing piece on the comeback of the good old boys in Hollywood.

Check it out, "The high jinks and despair of the Southern man from 'Smokey and the Bandit' to the new 'Logan Lucky'":

The country was two years out of Vietnam and still bruised by Watergate when a wise guy in a Pontiac Trans Am roared through a movie that celebrated and poked fun at Southern culture with the affable charm of a moonshiner whispering tall tales in a roadhouse on a humid night.

“Smokey and the Bandit” is 40 years old, a raucous good ol’ boy tale that made Burt Reynolds a brand and left the screen crackling with country music, CB radios, car chases and the irascible and out-foxed Sheriff Buford T. Justice, played with gun-toting aplomb by Jackie Gleason. The movie is the South winking at itself, playing stereotypes for humor and laughing along at caricatures. It was a blockbuster.

It arrived as America was drifting from the turbulence of the ’60s and into the shaken aftermath of a misbegotten war in Southeast Asia and the disgrace of President Nixon’s resignation. “Smokey” was a salve, a lightweight rush of steel, beer and corny one-liners that epitomized an escapist (some would argue vacuous) pop culture as it raced through a land that flew the Rebel flag and strummed tunes of Dixie.

That folksy if simplistic notion drove other films and TV shows, including “The Dukes of Hazzard,” but Hollywood’s light-heartedness often belied the South’s deeper conflicts and scars over racism and civil rights in an often brutal history. That vexed legacy has been roused in the recent backlash over HBO’s “Confederate,” a proposed alternative history series that reimagines the South seceded from the North during the Civil War and continues to practice slavery today.

The cultural battleground the South has become also complicated portrayals of white working-class men who felt isolated and disenfranchised at a time of shifting demographics and technologically driven job markets. The country, many of them felt, was slipping beyond them, misunderstanding their pride and insecurities while turning them into punchlines and cautionary tales. Reynolds, who grew up in Florida, said he was long disturbed by films that mischaracterized the South.“Lots of movies ridiculed Southerners, and I resented them,” Reynolds, 81, wrote in his 2015 memoir “But Enough About Me.” “I wanted to play a Southern hero, a guy who was proud of being from the South. … Most of those folks are middle-of-the-road, not left or right. They believe in God, they work hard, and they love their country. They’re the people I grew up with, and I like them.”

He continued: “But Billy Bob Thornton had the last word. ‘You know,’ he said, ‘down South, we consider “Smokey and the Bandit” a documentary.’”

Is #Charlottesville What's Really Going on in America?

From Roger Simon, at Pajamas:
Being a Jewish fella, I don't hold much brief for white supremacists and neo-Nazis.  But until this Saturday, I hadn't seen a lot of them around lately.  And I've been going about the country quite a bit for the last couple of years, hitting roughly half the states, including some like Mississippi where the Klan was once riding high.

I'm happy to report that on my visit to the black-owned Two Sister's Kitchen in the capital of that state, Jackson, blacks and whites were both equally, and contentedly in my eyes, braving the criticism of their cardiologists for what is reputed to be the best fried chicken in town.  I recommend it wholeheartedly (no pun intended).

Nevertheless, the types who surfaced in Charlottesville on Saturday are certainly human beings of the most repellent and disgusting sort, murderous too -- pretty much violent, evil sociopaths.  I wouldn't mind if they were all rounded up, put in a space ship, and sent on a one-way trip to Alpha Centauri.

But how many of them are there really in this land of ours and is this an epidemic?

Well, it's hard to tell because statistics are scant and various organizations have their reasons for inflating or deflating the numbers.  But we could start with the History Channel (, which informs us that the KKK, at its height in the 1920s, had four million members.  Since the population then was just over one hundred million, that's close to four percent of the country -- in other words, really bad.  There were a helluva lot of murderous racists around.

By the 1990s, however, the same source tells us the Klan was down to a paltry 6,000-10,000 people creeps nationwide.  Has it gone up since then?  Hard to say, but if so, not much.

Well, okay, the Klan, although it's the most famous and features the ever-popular David Duke, is not the only organization of wretched white supremacist nut cases.  There are a number of others.  So for the sake of argument, let's say there are as many as 100,000 white supremacists in America today. (This is undoubtedly a vast exaggeration, but let's use it, as I said, for the sake of argument.)

Meanwhile, since the 1920s, our population has more than tripled to some 325 million.  Using the figure of 100,000 white supremacists (not many of whom made it to Charlottesville fortunately), this puts the percentage of  white supremacists in the U.S. at a puny 0.03%. Terrible people, yes, but no epidemic by any stretch of the imagination.  By way of comparison, an estimated 3 billion pizzas are sold every year in the U.S.  There's an epidemic.

More to the point, are there more of these white supremacists than members of the equally violent and disgusting Antifa movement?  Again statistics are hard to come by. (Both sides like to wear masks.) But I tend to doubt it.  If anything, Antifa has been far more active, until Saturday.
Still more.

Philip Roth, American Pastoral

I've been collecting Philip Roth books. He's extremely prolific, sheesh.

This one's the first of a trilogy, so enjoy.

At Amazon, Philip Roth, American Pastoral (American Trilogy).

Faith Goldy and Stefan Molyneux #Charlottesville (VIDEO)

Faith Goldy was literally in the middle of all the violence yesterday. Talk about first-hand reporting.

Following-up, "State of Emergency Declared in Charlottesville, Virginia (VIDEO)."

Angie Harmon Bikini

She's so lovely.

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

Also at Theo's, "Cartoon Roundup..."

Michelle Vidal Golden Goddess Casting Call (VIDEO)

She's beautiful.

Angels Surge to Sole Possession of Second American League Wildcard Spot

There's video at MLB, "8/12/17: Pujols' late double propels Halos to 6-3 win."

And here's AP's report at LAT (the Times has no beat reporter covering the Angels right now), "Angels rally for 6-3 victory over the Mariners and to get back into a wild-card playoff spot."

Finally, check Jeff Fletcher, at the O.C. Register, "Angels move into 2nd wild card spot with 5th straight victory."

Let's see how long this lasts. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, considering the Angels' (inconsistent) experience this season. Sheesh:
SEATTLE — The Angels have reached a notable, although meaningless, moment.

They are currently sitting in the second wild card spot, after running their winning streak to five games with a come-from-behind, 6-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

“It gives us a little taste of what’s left to come,” Jesse Chavez said.

The Angels have taken the first three games of this series against the team that was leading the race for the second wild card when it began. The Mariners were since passed by the Minnesota Twins, who also lost on Saturday to allow the Angels to pass them both.
At 60-58, the Angels still have 44 games to play, which is why being in playoff position now means little.

Asked if there was any small significance to draw from the standings now, Manager Mike Scioscia said flatly: “No. Nope. We’ve got a game tomorrow.”

To JC Ramirez, the standings don’t mean as much as the way the Angels are currently playing. They have now won 11 of their last 15 games.

“You’ve seen the tough season we’ve been through and now we finally gained that spot,” Ramirez said. “People that weren’t hitting are now hitting. People who weren’t pitching very well are now doing good. This is the kind of team we are. This is the kind of team we were supposed to be since the beginning of the season.”

The characteristic that has been on display most lately is a penchant for late-inning heroics. They scored the decisive runs in the eighth and ninth innings in all three victories so far in Seattle. And in the past two games, they overcame seventh-inning deficits, of four runs on Friday and two on Saturday...

Margaret Walker, Jubilee

At Amazon, Margaret Walker, Jubilee.

John Jakes, North and South

At Amazon, John Jakes, North and South (North and South Trilogy Part One).

Russell Banks, Cloudsplitter

At Amazon, Russell Banks, Cloudsplitter.

ICYMI: MacKinlay Kantor, Andersonville

We're in a cold civil war, starting to turn hot, it seems.

I'll post come related book links today.

At Amazon, MacKinlay Kantor, Andersonville.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Thornton Wilder, The Ides of March

I'm trying to keep my reading around the late Republic (for now), so this one as well's on my list.

At Amazon, Thornton Wilder, The Ides of March: A Novel.

Mary M. Luke, A Crown for Elizabeth

At Amazon, Mary M. Luke, A Crown for Elizabeth.

State of Emergency Declared in Charlottesville, Virginia (VIDEO)

I was out this afternoon, puttering around for used books, as usual.

And after I got home and had a snack, I checked Twitter and saw Robert Stacy McCain's tweet, "People need to calm the fuck down."

So I'm like, "Why. What the fuck happened?"

Then scrolling through my feed I see tweets on the violence in Charlottesville. It's not good. I'd like to know who drove that Dodge Challenger into the crowd, however. Was it an antifa leftist? Who knows?

In any case, check Memeorandum, "March of white supremacists at University of Virginia ends in skirmishes."

Video here and here.

And at the Other McCain, "The #Charlottesville Madness."

And at the Rebel:

Tom Holland, The Forge of Christendom

At Amazon, Tom Holland, The Forge of Christendom: The End of Days and the Epic Rise of the West.

Shop Today

I'm going out for the afternoon. More blogging tonight.

Meanwhile, shop Goldbox Deals at Amazon.

See, especially, Dyson Ball Animal Complete Upright Vacuum with Bonus Tools, Fuchsia (Certified Refurbished).

Also, Xbox One Stereo Headset (Microsoft).

And, Haribo Gummi Candy, Original Gold-Bears, 5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12).

More, Bright Eyed Medium Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee from Nectar of Life - Full Body. Thick & Rich. Central & South American Coffee. Best Organic Coffee USDA Organic Coffee Fair.

Here, Mountain House Just In Case...Classic Assortment Bucket.

Still more, TOSKATOK Unisex Ultra stylish Aussie Outback Safari Bush Hat.

BONUS: Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian.