Left Eye on Books

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Nation Book Section

What is up with the book section of the Nation, the most important periodical on the left in the US? Here are some typical books recently reviewed: Federico Fellini: His Life and Work. The Power of Movies. Do the editors really believe these are works that demand the attention of a left audience? Although there are some relevant titles, like At Canaan's Edge and The Intellectuals and the Flag, virtually all the reviews are much longer than they need to be. A short, pithy 'new and noted', or 'in brief' section seems inconceivable. Isn't The Nation one of those publications that periodically bemoans the way the left has become alienated from young people?


  • Some of us youngsters actually like the esoteric nature of The Nation book reviews. I for one love reading them, because they are generally written by people who have an extreme level of competency with the material and most of the time even have personal histories with the author. They are also extremely provocative. The fact that they aren't dumbed down into "pithy" blurbs is why I read them. If I wanted to read Rolling Stone I would.

    By Blogger Martin, at 8:26 AM  

  • People with personal histories with authors should always recuse themselves from reviewing their books. And I was thinking of Blender, which, corporate ownership not withstanding, has many writers whose politics are sharper than most of the writers for The Nation, rather than Rolling Stone, which has been irrelevant since 1975.

    By Blogger Steven, at 6:55 PM  

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