11 New Books We Suggest This Week

AMERICAN HELPFUL HELP: One hundred notes from colonial times to the present, written and quoted by Phillip Lopate. (Pantheon, $ 40.) Many of these notes “clearly explain so far,” Phillip Lopate writes in his opening remarks, about “the recurring events in the arena.” The collection includes speeches and letters as well as numerous traditional writings. Many of these pieces have recent records: Douglass, Whitman, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Du Bois, Twain, Wharton, Mencken, Fitzgerald, Baldwin, Sontag, Didion. Our commentator John Williams writes: “Help us sing for a while, and it’s easy to understand not only the changes of our past years but the ideas of our great conversations and the hard work that goes on.”

WAR: How Conflicts Are Made for Us, Author Margaret MacMillan. (Random House, $ 30.) This is a short but heavy book with a big title. MacMillan argues that beating and killing are closely linked to what it means to be human so to see it as a distraction to miss the point. The war has led to many major developments and even greater disasters. “MacMillan shows how the need for self-defense – whether by race or ethnicity – has contributed to virtually everything in human history,” Dexter Filkins wrote in a comment. “The most exciting thing about this book is the old manuscripts, the moments and words that MacMillan put on almost every page to express his ideas. They are bold, constructive and varied, and they make the book come alive.”

SICILY ’43: First attack on Fortress Europe, and James Holland. (Atlantic Monthly, $ 30.) Holland gives a simple history of the war, describing the difficulties of the war and concluding that the successful invasion of Sicily is something that has never been appreciated. “All academic history is very good, but sometimes it’s fun to sit down and write about the old school war stories of thin-skinned men fighting,” Thomas E. Rick wrote in a comment. Holland “gives us a history of Anglo-Saxon men killing one another and the Italians trying to escape. “

KING, and Jo Nesbo. Translated by Robert Ferguson. (Knopf, $ 27.99.) Nesbo Norway has all sorts of reptiles and psychos – in this case, two brothers and sisters who are friends and friends tend to achieve less real excitement. The result is a narrowing of the meaning of life in a small Nordic town where everyone knows the secrets of everyone, or wants to. “At first the book seems more mysterious than the Faulknerian myth about brotherly rivalry and sexual jealousy,” writes Charles McGrath. “But there is a black family secret, this is found … and, instead of one secret, many.”

UNFORGETTING: A Family Remembrance, Migration, Organization, and Revolution in America, Author Roberto Lovato. (Harper / HarperCollins, $ 26.99.) This powerful reminder to write for a Salvadoran-American journalist revolves around two cultures and describes a life characterized by the brutality of war. As Lovato’s grandfather told him, “We are all broken glass, stained with blood and struggling to get it back.” In hindsight, Carolyn Forché writes that “Forgetting” is “the story of two countries, incarcerated, and Lovato is well known for saying this. the next war. “

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