Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Mark Oppenheimer on Yascha Mounk’s Stranger in My Own Country: “…deftly describes Germans’ current, sometimes angry exhaustion with feeling guilty, on the right and on the left, among not only neo-Nazis but also among intellectuals like the novelist Martin Walser.” (NYTimes)

Sara Marcus on Masha Gessen’s Words Will Break Cement: “Gessen is not just asking how these women came to form Pussy Riot, or how they came to be punished so severely for making protest art. She’s also asking what makes great political art, and proposing that art and truth-telling have the power to defeat oppressive regimes (as the title, a quote from Nadya paraphrasing Solzhenitsyn, suggests).” (LATimes)

Dan DeLuca on Robert Gordon’s Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul: “tells of the precipitous rise and dramatic fall of Stax, which went into bankruptcy in 1975 after a spectacular run that ended with the label’s last hit, Shirley Brown’s “Woman to Woman” in 1974.” (

Boyd Tonkin on editor Pete Ayrton’s No Man’s Land: Writings from a World at War: “Even avid readers of First World War prose will find eye-opening discoveries here.” (The Independent)

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