What I’ve been reading

1. Honor Moore, Our Revolution: A Mother and Daughter at Midcentury.  An excellent book on “what it was like back then.”  Plus the daughter-mother memoir often is neglected by male readers, and this is one place to start.  The mother ends up diagnosed with cancer at age fifty, and furthermore her war hero and Bishop husband turns out to be actively bisexual.

2. Zachary Karabell, Inside Money: Brown Brothers Harriman and the American Way of Power.  A very useful treatment of an undercovered institution, and one spanning many different eras of American history.  Lots about early 20th century Nicaragua, plus this is the private investment firm that stayed private.

3. Marie Favereau, The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World.  The subtitle is maybe misleading, because this is the book that corrects all the other books with subtitles like “How the Mongols Changed the World.”  Yes they were somewhat globalized and also religiously tolerant, but Favereau fills in the rest of the details, and furthermore outlines the concept of “the horde” as a mode of governance.  I am hardly an expert in this area, but this seems to be the recommendable book on the Mongols that is both conceptual but at the same time not overly simplified.

4. Margarette Lincoln, London and the 17th Century: The Making of the World’s Greatest City.  Is it so terrible to read another book about the world’s greatest city?  The emphasis is on London as a city of war, turmoil, and crime, rather than triumphalism.  It will be a shame when the English language of that era is no longer intelligible to us without a translation, because currently it is our very closest connection with a fundamentally different worldview.

Claire Lehmann of Quillette fame and others have edited the new Panics and Persecutions: 20 Tales of Excommunication in the Digital Age.


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