Books Movies

No Country For Old Men

Going to a movie is one thing. Reading a book is another. For many years I’ve been an avid reader of Cormac McCarthy. I’ve made it a point, in fact, to read everything by him at least twice. McCarthy’s style is heavy on landscape and theme, with plot somewhat de-emphasized. There is plot, and sometimes […]


Speaking of “Arsenals of Folly”

It’s a really interesting book. The Times’ review speculates that the direction of the book changed mid-stream, and I can see that. The really “hot” years of the cold war are skipped through very quickly. But the sections on Chernobyl are really harrowing. Some of this detail has been published elsewhere, but Rhodes puts it […]


A Strange Sense of Deja Vu

Flipping through tomorrow’s New York Times Book Review I see reviews of two books that are, uh, less-than-recent. Richard Rhodes’ “Arsenals of Folly,” which I touched on briefly here close to four weeks ago, and John Dean’s “Broken Government,” which has already got a thick layer of dust on it wherever it is I set […]


Reagan and Gorbachev

I’m not even done reading Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race yet, but it looks like Richard Rhodes has hit another home run. I was totally blown away, so to speak, by the chapter “Looking Over The Horizon” last night. It’s a minute-by-minute account of the Reykjavic summit of 1986, when […]


The Road

Post-apocalyptic fiction in its postwar versions has at least two common threads. One is, they tend to be cautionary tales. The most common of course being the threat of nuclear annihilation. There are too many examples of that to even list. But others themes include, “it’s not nice to mess around with germs” (“28 Days […]