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Review: Ebert, Awake in the Dark

July 31, 2006
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Review: Ebert, Awake in the Dark

Roger Ebert’s forthcoming book Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert; Forty years of Reviews, Essays, and Interviews, details almost a half century’s worth of cinematic expertise from a man the Library Journal calls one of American cinema’s “most respected and influential movie critics.” More from the LJ review: The book clearly summarizes Ebert’s pantheon of best films, or at least movies that have meant the most to him. Also included are appreciations and interviews with notable actors and filmmakers. Always alert to trends and defending film as an art form, Ebert never fails to connect with his readers. With Awake in the Dark, both fans and film buffs can finally bask in the best of Ebert’s work. No critic alive has reviewed more movies than Roger Ebert, and yet his essential writings have never been collected in a single volume—until now. The reviews, interviews, and essays collected here present a picture of this indispensable critic’s numerous contributions to the cinema and cinephilia. . . .

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Review: Smith, Reading Leo Strauss

July 31, 2006
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Review: Smith, Reading Leo Strauss

In the July 21, 2006, issue of the New York weekly Forward, Allan Nadler finds Steven B. Smith’s Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism a “book rich with delightful details” about Strauss’s life and thought; details which, Nadler argues, complicate the intensifying perception of Strauss as a figurehead for “a particularly nasty version of neoconservatism.” A short quote from Nadler’s review follows: A professor of political science at Yale and the author two previous books on Spinoza, Smith focuses on what Strauss called the “theologico-politico problem”—that is to say, the centuries-old unresolved conflict between the dictates of human reason and the doctrines of divine revelation.…In demonstrating the complexity of Strauss’s thinking, Smith succeeds admirably in rescuing the philosopher from what he calls “the hostile takeover” of the neoconservatives, particularly by disociating himself from President Bush’s simplistic view of the world. As such, this clear and lucid presentation represents an important corrective to the contemporary distortion of Strauss’s legacy—and not a minute too soon. We also have an excerpt from Smith’s book. . . .

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