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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
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Customer Comments

ikram has commented on (17) products.

The Shelter Cycle by Peter Rock
The Shelter Cycle

ikram, April 16, 2013

Peter Rock has written a great literary novel which sucks you in the same way a great pop thriller would. Rock’s prose is totally compelling and the plot is just mysterious enough you will want to read it in just a sitting or two in order to find how it all comes together.

One thing I really took away from the book was how Rock used the, quite frankly, absurd teachings of the Church Universal as a background for the characters’ without making them seem crazy. It goes to show how people we would deem in society as “smart” or “normal” can be susceptible to any bizarre persuasion in the proper context. A very good book.
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(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Mary Coin by Marisa Silver
Mary Coin

ikram, April 16, 2013

This is an excellent book, one of the best three or four novels I'll read this year. Marisa Silver has crafted a first rate story out of what I would have thought was a slim and rather daft idea, basing a novel on an iconic Depression-era photograph. But ideas come from who-knows-where, and as long as there is passion and talent behind them, a lot can achieved. That's what happens with Mary Coin.

Mary Coin covers eighty years of life in Oklahoma and California. It is at its heart a very American book although its style and subject matter remind me a lot of Thomas Hardy's descriptions of people managing their hard lives in British rural landscapes. Mary Coin is a dark story painted with a fine brush. If you enjoy precision in writing and craft in story telling, I'd highly recommend this novel.
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)

The Stud Book by Monica Drake
The Stud Book

ikram, April 16, 2013

A GREAT book. Made me laugh out loud and consider the reasons why people choose to have children. And just how crazy you have to be in order to make and want a baby. Examines the bonds that build a family whether the family is genetic or built from a caring band of friends. Life, death (and the great beyond), injury and perseverance are all wrapped into one book. My comment makes it sound serious. It's damn damn funny.
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(9 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
The Burgess Boys

ikram, April 16, 2013

Strout writes such wonderful women characters. Both Olive and Susan are solid women. They are so aware of themselves and know they walk to a different drummer. They don't know how to make the leap to the mainstream. There are so many women who just go through their days, stoic and steadfast who ask for so little. They just want a little understanding. Jim's wife, Helen, is an interesting woman too. I was prepared to dislike her little WASP personage but she had such depth to her that you can't help but liking her. Her struggle with an empty nest was surprising and so real that it changed my opinion of her. These are all women you may not want to have a cup of tea with but your appreciate them. Strout paints them with such nuances that they come alive. Susan's refusal to turn up the heat in her house really sums her character up.

This is a lovely novel handled by a deft hand. It handles so many issues without any preaching. By the end of the book you really know and appreciate this family and their struggles. This is really a must read and I am recommending this to my book club. Be careful, it could break your heart.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Shades of Milk and Honey

ikram, April 16, 2013

This is an interesting book. It's well-written and well-plotted and the ending may surprise you. I was expecting parts of it (like the romantic pairings - it is, after all, a period romance at its roots) but not how it all played it out at the climax. It was nice to be surprised.

I also love the magic system that the author has invented here. It's subtle, as it has to be to keep history on track, but she's definitely planting the seeds for interesting uses of glamour in future books.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

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