History, Religion, Reviews.

Convivencia is a state of mind

Book Book Review, Title People of the Book, Author Geraldine Brooks, Rating 4.0,

People of the Book

Geraldine Brooks

Book Review

Geraldine Brook's historical novel, People of the Book, tells the fascinating and uplifting story of how people of different faiths created and protected a Jewish book of worship known as the Sarajevo Haggadah for over five hundred years, a period marked by much religious conflict.

History, Reviews, Science.

The Dark Lady of DNA

Book Book Review, Title Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA, Author Brenda Maddox, Rating 4.5,

Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA

Brenda Maddox

Book Review

Rosalind Franklin was one of the primary actors in the search for the structure of the DNA molecule.

In 1968 James Watson published The Double Helix, his personal account of the elucidation of the structure of DNA, in which he de-emphasized Rosalind Franklin's critical contributions during the period of discovery, while drawing a negative portrait of her.  Franklin did not receive the Nobel Prize for this discovery, but Watson and Crick did. Why not? Rank villainy?

Brenda Maddox does a superb job of sorting out Franklin's complex story.

History, Literature, Reviews.

I, Benvenuto Cellini

Book Briefly Noted, Title The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, Author Benvenuto Cellini, Rating 4.5,

The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini

Benvenuto Cellini

Briefly Noted

Benvenuto Cellini was a master Florentine goldsmith and sculptor who lived and worked during the time of the High Italian Renaissance, and was also by his lights a great artist, tougher and craftier than anyone around him, could take on many men with a sword and live to tell the tale, was a great lover, usw. His is the most ebullient autobiography I have read, so wonderful, and so full of life!
History, Reviews, Science.

Humbled again by particle physics

Book Book Review, Title The second creation, Author Robert P. Crease, Rating 3.0,

The second creation

Robert P. Crease

Book Review

This is a history of the development of the Standard Model of particle physics, circa 1986. It is well regarded by physicists for its sociological treatment, as well as its attempt to record the false starts and uncertainty that accompany leading edge science; certainly the personalities and their various collaborations and squabbles are vividly rendered. As to the science, it is particularly good in providing a pithy description of how a unified theory of electromagnetic, strong and weak forces gives rise to our description of the early events of the Big Bang theory.

History, Politics-Government, Religion.

The ghost of Schaeffer past

Book Book Review, Title How Now Shall We Live?, Author Charles Colson, Rating 2.0,

How Now Shall We Live?

Charles Colson

Book Review

By the time Charles Colson got out of prison in the mid-70's, having been convicted for acts of political skullduggery during the Watergate scandal, he had converted to Evangelical Christianity. How Now Shall We Live was his best-seller, an homage to Francis Schaeffer's view of Western history. Schaeffer was a presuppositional millennialist who in the 1970's left the quiet life of a Christian intellectual to help lead the evangelicals to the heights of political activism we see today in the U.S.

History, Politics-Government, Religion.

Hearts and minds

Book Book Review, Title Born Again, Author Charles W. Colson, Rating 2.5,

Born Again

Charles W. Colson

Book Review

During his years as a Republican political operative, Charles Colson prominently displayed an old Marine Corp saying in his home: 'When you’ve got ’em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.' Colson described those years and the hard crash that followed in his book Born Again as a mid-life autobiography precipitated by a mid-life crisis. After his role as a self-described 'hatchet man' for Nixon White House was slowly exposed during the Watergate scandal, he converted to Evangelical Christianity, and after being convicted of obstruction of justice, he spent some time in prison.