- Reviewed Elsewhere
Contributing reviewers Nell Altizer, Alana Bell, Judith Lütge Coullie, Michael Fassiotto, Noel Kent, Gabriel Merle, Dawn Morais, and Barbara Bennett Peterson provided the excerpts for this issue.
Publications reviewed include the African Studies Review, Far Eastern Economic Review, (Toronto) Globe and Mail, Journal of World History, Le Monde, Le Monde des Livres, The New Yorker, New York Review of Books (NYRB), New York Times Book Review (NYTBR), Le Nouvel Observateur, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Times Literary Supplement (TLS), and the Washington Post National Weekly Edition (WP), and from South Africa, Beeld, Bookmark, Businesss Day: Weekender, Cape Times, City Press: City Pulse, Free State Libraries: Book Highlights, The Guardian, The Herald, The Independent, Journal of African Studies, Journal of Southern African Studies, New Contree, The Pink Tongue, The Star: Tonight, and Times Online.
Lord Beaverbrook. David Adams Richards. Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2008. 177 pp. $26.00.
"[F]rom his own output as a historian to the monuments that bear his name in New Brunswick, the province he called home, Beaverbrook shaped the public's view of war, politics, art and himself. . . . David Adams Richards, one of Canada's greatest literary voices . . . has penned one of the first of Penguin's Extraordinary Canadians series. The books are intended as quick and easy reads, not scholarly, fully rounded portraits of their subjects. Indeed, there's an almost explicit mandate to celebrate them. This Richards does by focusing on Aitken's ascent from Newcastle (the adventures of his youth are effectively synthesized and wonderfully told) to the pinnacle of Canadian finance and then of British politics."
Jacques Poitras. Globe and Mail, Apr. 5, 2008: D6.
Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend. Richard Stoneman. New Haven: Yale UP, 2008. 314 pp. $35.00.
"Alexander's conquests were so enormous and so sudden, his death so unexpected and so inexplicable, that the world was left not only astonished but also unsatisfied. That could not, surely, be the end of this amazing career. More Alexander stories were desired; they were duly produced. As Stoneman's book shows, they are picturesque, romantic, at moments perhaps profound, when hero and narrator confront the inescapable fact of death. At the level of prosaic reality, they are fantastic and untrue; but at another level [End Page 497] they can, perhaps, assuage longing for completeness, for shape, for something better, even in politics and war, than just the meaningless succession of one damn conquest after another."
Jasper Griffin. NYRB, June 12, 2008: 14–16.
Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travel in the Other China. Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. Toronto: Random House Canada, 2008. 376 pp. $70.00.
"In Beyond the Great Wall, the award-winning cookbook duo Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid redraw the map of China according to culinary and cultural differences rather than political boundaries. . . . Alford and Duguid are . . . probably among the world's best collectors and interpreters of traditional recipes. Somehow, despite linguistic and cultural barriers, they manage to rescue those dishes from relative obscurity and turn them into something mouthwateringly delicious. . . . Writerly vignettes describe scenes from their travels in China over the past few decades; because they are arranged by date, they build quietly into a moving testament of China's dramatic social and economic change."
Sasha Chapman. Globe and Mail, Apr. 26, 2008: D8.
La légende de Muhammad Ali. Patrice Lelorain. Paris: Ed. La Table Ronde, 2008. 208 pp. Euro8,50.
Patrice Lelorain's Muhammad Ali is a revised version of a book first published in 1992. The boxer's mythical figure is ruthlessly damaged. Pledged to the Muslims, who received one fourth of his gains throughout his career, suffering in the end from Parkinson's disease, he never lived the life of a really free man.
Samuel Blumenfeld. Le Monde, May 9, 2008: 9.
"The fighter on the cover...