Barbara Tuchman 1971
20th Century Palestine

Encountering Bible and Sword by Barbara Tuchman

Last weekend I faced a solitary thousand-mile roundtrip drive from the Bay Area to San Diego down the largely featureless California Central Valley, a chore that became a delight as I spent the time listening to a book I’d never read, Bible and Sword, by a writer I’ve long admired, Barbara Tuchman. (more…)

Fred Donner and Book
History of Islam

Fred Donner and the Early Days of Islam

One of the pleasures I've discovered in time I've spent so far on my current project is meeting interesting people, and also discovering how generous some people can be with their time and expertise. This was brought home to me most recently when I met Fred Donner, a distinguished scholar of Islam and of Near…

Charlie Hebdo Fields of Blood
Politics & Religion

Reading Fields of Blood while watching Charlie Hebdo

I know the sorrow I feel for those murdered in Paris - the creative artists, their colleagues and those killed trying to protect them - is shared by a massive international host who revere the norms of civil society and are shocked by the barbarity of the assailants. The attacks were nothing if not an…