Space programs all around the world are testing ever more ambitious plans and this book belongs in the library of every readers who’s been following that journey.Read More
As Charles Homer Haskins pointed out in his humbly durable masterpiece The Renaissance of the 12th Century, the Dark Ages weren’t dark at all. Fiercely cold most of the time (due to a bout of climate change), but not dark in the sense of shuttered. Beknighted, but not benighted.
The great scholar John Addington Symonds (whose absence from bookstore shelves bloody well qualifies him for honoring here in Absent Friends, somewhere down the line) put it very prettily when he observed that any age without Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael must necessarily seem dark. The ostentatious showboating of the Italian Renaissance is the problem in a nutshell when it comes to thinking about the innocent ages that come before.Read More
A debatably wise man once said that the best-seller was a gilded tomb for a mediocre talent. As with all easy aphorisms, it’s only 90 percent true.
The riddle is solved one of two ways: either the writer of the best-seller stumbled blindly upon a winning formula that one time only, or the writer always knew what they were doing and some combination of chance and synergy caused that one book to take flight.