NWPR Books

NWPR Books
7:49 am
Fri January 18, 2013

The Inquisition: A Model For Modern Interrogators

An illustration shows heretics being tortured and nailed to wooden posts during the first Inquisition.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:41 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Jan. 23, 2012.

The individuals who participated in the first Inquisition 800 years ago kept detailed records of their activities. Vast archival collections at the Vatican, in France and in Spain contain accounts of torture victims' cries, descriptions of funeral pyres and even meticulous financial records about the price of torture equipment.

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NWPR Books
1:02 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Why Does Jared Diamond Make Anthropologists So Mad?

Diamond argues that there are things we can learn from small-scale societies like those found in Papua New Guinea.
Torsten Blackwood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:54 am

Jared Diamond is once again inflaming my tribe.

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NWPR Books
11:14 am
Thu January 17, 2013

The 'Underlying Logic' Behind The Madness Of The Office

In The Org, Tim Sullivan and Ray Fisman share case studies of organizations including McDonald's and Procter and Gamble.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 12:58 pm

Those of us who work in an office know that there is at least some part of the organization that is utterly frustrating.

In The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office, authors Tim Sullivan and Ray Fisman argue that the back-to-back meetings and unending bureaucracy serve an important purpose.

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NWPR Books
10:05 am
Thu January 17, 2013

How A 'Madwoman' Upended A Literary Boys Club

This week, the National Book Critics Circle announced that two feminist literary scholars, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, would be the recipients of its 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu January 17, 2013

New World, Old Evil In Tracy Chevalier's 'Runaway'

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:35 pm

Tracy Chevalier's 1999 masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring, was a tour de force, revealing the painter Vermeer through the eyes of his 16-year-old maid. A publishing sensation, the novel set the pattern for Chevalier's subsequent work: meticulously researched historical fiction, filled with gritty detail yet rendered in luminous prose.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed January 16, 2013

'Tropic Death' Presents Life's Horrors In Beautiful Prose

Liveright

Tropic Death, the blunt, specific title for Eric Walrond's story collection, first published more than 85 years ago, couldn't be more apt. These 10 stories indeed have tropical settings — namely, British Guiana, Barbados and the Panama Canal Zone — and death is ever present, as palpable as the bludgeoning heat and suffocating racism that characterize many of these tales.

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NWPR Books
10:15 am
Tue January 15, 2013

George Saunders Lives Up To The Hype

George Saunders' previous books include In Persuasion Nation and The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip. He won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006.
Basso Cannarsa Courtesy Random House

I was baffled by the cover of The New York Times Magazine two Sundays ago. You may remember that the headline of the cover story was: "George Saunders Has Written The Best Book You'll Read This Year." I was baffled because the only George Saunders I could think of was that old movie star who was always playing cads in films like Rebecca and All About Eve.

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NWPR Books
1:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Hold On To Your Tighty Whities, Captain Underpants Is Back!

Cover image

Let's face it. When you're a kid, sometimes adults can be a real drag. The new Captain Underpants book puts it this way: "Did you ever notice how grown-ups hate it when kids are having fun?"

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NWPR Books
1:35 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Sotomayor Opens Up About Childhood, Marriage In 'Beloved World'

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor applauds during a reception in her honor at the White House.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Over the course of time, Supreme Court justices have written 225 books. Few reveal much about the justices themselves, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor's autobiography, My Beloved World, is a searingly candid memoir about her life growing up in the tenements of the Bronx, going to Princeton and Yale Law School, becoming a prosecutor and a private corporate lawyer and, at age 38, becoming a federal judge.

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