Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit - Joseph Epstein

I took Gossip (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25) on vacation but allocated it to my time slot of “playtime reading”; by the end of the first chapter, I had promoted it to the status of the  “thoughtful and enjoyable.” By the time I finished it, I had chosen four friends on my holiday gift list to whom I want to introduce Joseph Epstein, a wonderful essayist and former editor of Phi Beta Kappa’s journal, American Scholar, and certainly not a National Enquirer, scandal-loving kind of guy. Nevertheless, he unabashedly loves hearing and spreading dish, a practice he defends with his belief that even superior novelists, Jane Austen and Barbara Pym included, thrive on gossip to keep the reader involved and the world going round.  During his long career, Epstein has had an earful, out of which come some very funny anecdotes as well as insightful ruminations.  Describing his personal preferences in the gossip universe, he names “the items that feature the comedy of human behavior: the comedy, that is, of people trying to live up to their own probably too high pretensions.”

Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit By Joseph Epstein Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780618721948
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - November 29th, 2011

Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit By Joseph Epstein Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780547844596
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - November 27th, 2012

Newspaper Titan: The Infamous Life and Monumental Times of Cissy Patterson - Amanda Smith

Before there was Katharine Graham at The Washington Post, there was Cissy Patterson (1881-1948), editor-in-chief at The Washington Times-Herald. The life of this Newspaper Titan (Knopf, $37.50) is colorful enough to keep readers turning all 500-plus pages of local author Amanda Smith’s insightful new biography. No more experienced than Graham was when she came to the job, Patterson was also every bit as successful, raising the Times-Herald from a lackluster low-circulation daily to the leading newspaper in our capital city. Patterson’s very personal style of journalism insisted upon the sensational and transformed the paper into a “pugnacious, tattling, picture-packed” tabloid with an enormous legal budget for libel suits. Patterson matched this with her equally flamboyant private life. An impulsive, fun-loving, and backbiting collector of personal enemies, she lived a life straight out of a Henry James novel.

Newspaper Titan: The Infamous Life and Monumental Times of Cissy Patterson By Amanda Smith Cover Image
$37.50
ISBN: 9780375411007
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - September 6th, 2011

Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution - Mary Gabriel

With great empathy and verve, Mary Gabriel illuminates the private life of Karl Marx, offering an impressively researched study of the human, family side of a historic personality more usually portrayed as a brooding, intolerant, intellectual giant. Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution (Little, Brown, $35) is a richly detailed account of the passionate relationship between the famous revolutionary theorist and his admiring wife, a beautiful aristocrat. Gabriel draws heavily on extensive Marx family correspondence to create a compelling story of love and heartbreak, following the Marx family across Europe through financial hard times, the tragedies of children’s deaths, and the strains of Marx’s infidelities.

Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution By Mary Gabriel Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780316066129
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - November 13th, 2012

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