Our 5 Most Popular Posts: May 2024

  • June 4, 2024

We love every piece we run. There are no winners or losers. But all kidding aside, here are May’s winners.

Our 5 Most Popular Posts: May 2024

  1. James A. Percoco’s review of Patton’s Prayer: A True Story of Courage, Faith, and Victory in World War II by Alex Kershaw (Dutton). “Eisenhower turned to his capable but mercurial war horse, Patton, to pivot his Third Army at a 90-degree angle south of the bulge, punch a hole in Germany’s southern flank, and relieve the besieged 101st Airborne Division trapped in dire straits in Bastogne. Patton guaranteed Eisenhower success, but in the early stages of his brilliant tactical move, his troops endured severe cloud cover and winter rain. He needed a miracle. A God-fearing man, Patton turned to the Almighty for atmospheric deliverance in the shape of a ‘highly unusual’ prayer offered by the Catholic chaplain. Seemingly, it worked.”

  2. Andrew M. Mayer’s review of Alfred Dreyfus: The Man at the Center of the Affair by Maurice Samuels (Yale University Press). “Despite the emergence of new evidence in 1896 that pointed to the likely real culprit, Major Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy (who was acquitted following a two-day trial), Dreyfus was, in 1899, hauled back into court and brought up on additional charges based on forged documents. While all this was transpiring, greater drama was playing out in the streets of Paris and throughout France. Catholics, clergy, nationalists, monarchists, and assorted right-wing authoritarians in the press were declaring Dreyfus a traitor symptomatic of the Jewish perfidy sullying the nation. On the other side were ‘Dreyfusards’ like Émile Zola, who, in 1898, wrote the famous open letter ‘J’Accuse!’ in which he accused the military and government of an antisemitic conspiracy against Dreyfus.”

  3. Terri Lewis’ review of The Stone Home: A Novel by Crystal Hana Kim (William Morrow). “As the story progresses, the reader is immersed in thrashings, starvation, destroyed eyes, and psychological torment. The young inmates gradually unravel, first abandoning their natural family, and then their found family forged in captivity. The relationship between Eunju and Sangchul, too, sharpens and festers before reaching an explosive, ferocious conclusion. The Stone Home aims to break down the self-protective distance that forms when one learns about a tragedy, to move the reader beyond thinking and into feeling. In that, it succeeds. But approach this novel with caution: You’ll be right there, suffering alongside the characters on every page.”

  4. Joel Looper’s review of Armageddon: What the Bible Really Says about the End by Bart D. Ehrman (Simon & Schuster). “Many well-read American Christians might also express ambivalence about the writings of University of North Carolina professor Bart D. Ehrman, a New Testament scholar famous for being an atheist. In adolescence, Ehrman himself had a brief, passionate fling with evangelicalism, and he frequently targets his former coreligionists for closemindedness and incuriosity about their own Scriptures. In his new book, Armageddon: What the Bible Really Says about the End, Ehrman sets his sights on evangelical readings of Revelation and the astonishing violence the book contains, arguing not only that the Bible’s grand finale has had deleterious effects on American politics, but that its version of Christianity misses the gospel preached by Jesus of Nazareth.”

  5. Kitty Kelley’s review of The Loves of Theodore Roosevelt: The Women Who Created a President by Edward F. O’Keefe (Simon & Schuster). “The author argues that five women provided the ballast of Roosevelt’s life and were the source of his greatest accomplishments: his mother, Mittie; his sisters Bamie and Conie; and his two wives, Alice, who died after giving birth to their first child, and Edith, his second wife, with whom he had five more children. These women were ‘the team who would guide his future for the next several decades and craft his legacy.’ Indeed, O’Keefe writes, the two greatest mistakes T.R. made were when he acted on his own without the counsel of his female consortium.”

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