The current issue of the New York Review of Books carries the informative essay/review by Thomas Powers on communications intelligence: “Black arts.” The NYRB is a flagship publication of the left. It occasionally carries at least one piece worth reading, and Powers’s essay/reviews on intelligence (now collected in the book Intelligence Wars) are in my opinion always among them.
The current issue also has a terrific essay/review by the prominent Civil War historian James McPherson covering three new books on John Brown. McPherson’s essay/review is a model of the form, though it is unfortunatley not available online. Coincidentally, the current issue carries the zany exchange of Richard Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi with James Goodale regarding Goodale’s bizarre critique of the Thornburgh/Boccardi report. You have to have read the report to understand how weird this exchange is.
On a related note, in 1999 NYRB launched a separate publishing venture under the imprint NYRB Classics. NYRB Classics has restored to print many worthy titles that had dropped from view in recent years, among them The Case of Comrade Tulayev by Victor Serge, a book I first learned of in William Buckley’s anthology Did You Ever See a Dream Walking? American Conservative Thought in the Twentieth Century.
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