The End of Love

Marilyn Yalom proposes How the French Invented Love, giving us “Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance,” and then she brings us up to the present day, in which the French have seemingly lost the recipe. Yalom is the prolific elucidator of many feminine-oriented fields of inquiry, including A History of the Wife and A History of the Breast. Her book on love is an historic tour of the subject through a mostly literary lens, until it isn’t. She starts with Abelard and Heloise and moves on through the centuries, covering La Princesse de Cleves, (her affection for which is very appealing), and on through such heavyweights as Moliere, Rousseau, Madame Roland, Stendhal, Balzac…of course Flaub

Strange Bird

It would seem that all animal species have deep totemic significance not only in indigenous cultures but in Christian, Islamic, Judaic, Eastern, and Western traditions as well. And many original stories and beliefs about animals turn out to make ecological sense. In his nifty book Vulture, anthropologist Thom van Dooren surveys this most fearsome bird’s place in both historic belief and in the ecosystem. Naturally, since they feed on carrion, vultures are associated with death. But much vulture lore puts them in the role of life-shaper as well as destroyer. A Cherokee creation story tells how the animals, impatient to take up residence on a landscape just emerged from the seas and still

America Armed and Free, Etc.

One of the real privileges of having written a book is getting to talk to people I wouldn’t ordinarily have the occasion to meet, and recently I had a great time conversing with Charles Heller, host of the radio show Liberty Watch. Charles likes guns and hates the federal government, and feels that this whole climate change thing has been debunked. Otherwise, what a sweetheart! On his website he endorses our conversation as “this is what radio can be without the shouting,” and I concur. He also did me the favor of writing this very articulate and nuanced review of my book, below. You can listen to our conversation here: Review by Charles Heller:

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