Tag Archives: WSJ

Books: The Top Twelve Best Reviews – April 2023

12 Books to Read: The Best Reviews of April


Shakespeare’s Book: The Story Behind the First Folio and the Making of Shakespeare


By Chris Laoutaris Pegasus

After William Shakespeare’s death, his colleagues collected his plays in a single, history-making volume. Review by Malcolm Forbes.

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The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions


By Jonathan Rosen Penguin Press

A young man’s ife of brilliant promise was overtaken when his struggle with mental illness took a turn into delusion and nightmare. Review by Richard J. McNally.

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A Brutal Reckoning: Andrew Jackson, the Creek Indians, and the Epic War for the American South


By Peter Cozzens Knopf

The most consequential Indian war in U.S. history didn’t take place on the prairie but among the forsts and marshes of the Deep South. Atrocities were committed by both sides. Review by Fergus M. Bordewich.

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The Earth Transformed: An Untold History


By Peter Frankopan Knopf

The names and dates of battles that changed history are well-remembered. But what about storms or volcanic eruptions? For eons, human civilizations have shaped—and been shaped by—the natural world. Review by Tunku Varadarajan.

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Retirement: How To Get By On Less Than $1 Million

Wall Street Journal (March 28, 2023) – While many people often aspire to accumulate around a million dollars in retirement savings, most people wind up with far less than that. WSJ retirement reporter Anne Tergesen spoke to retirees on how they’re making do, and she joins host J.R. Whalen. Photo: Mikaela Martin

Video timeline: 0:00 The typical family’s 401k and IRA account balance 1:05 How retirement funds should depend on lifestyle choices 1:51 How retirees who save less than $1 million are getting by 3:53 Steps to take to ensure you have enough retirement savings

Many Americans dream of saving $1 million for retirement. Most fall far short of that.

The typical family’s 401(k) and IRA-type accounts come to less than half that goal in the years approaching retirement age, according to the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute. Total household balances in retirement accounts for those 55 to 64 years old are $413,814 on average, according to its estimates based on 2019 data, the most recent available.

Read more at WSJ

Public Health: The Rise Of The Deadly Fungi (WSJ)

Daniela Hernandez | WSJ (March 24, 2023): HBO’s The Last of Us previews what a fungal apocalypse might look like. While scientists aren’t worried about the Cordyceps fungus taking us out IRL, deaths due to severe fungal infections are going up and raising alerts from public-health agencies.

Video timeline: 0:00 Fungal infections kill an average of 1.6 million people per year 0:30 How climate change has aided in fungi production 2:11 Infectious fungi are more dangerous for compromised immune systems 2:42 Why there are limited treatment options for fungal infections 3:29 How worried should you be about fungi?

I explain three big reasons why the next big health threat might come from a fungus.

Candida auris is an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat. CDC is concerned about C. auris for three main reasons:

  1. It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections. Some strains are resistant to all three available classes of antifungals.
  2. It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
  3. It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so that healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.

Rail Transport: Chicago’s Vulnerability To Strikes

Wall Street Journal (December 19, 2022) – In recent years, the city’s railyards have seen severe bottlenecks as the supply chain choked up nationally. With $3 trillion in goods traveling through Chicago every year, the city is the busiest rail hub in the U.S. WSJ breaks down how important rail is to the region, and how vulnerable the system is to a work stoppage like a strike.

Illustration: Adele Morgan

Reviews: Top Books To Read – November 2022

‘Indivisible’ Review: One and Inseparable

Indivisible|Joel Richard Paul

At a time of mutual hatred and bitter division, Daniel Webster argued for the primacy of a unifying political idea. Review by Fergus M. Bordewich

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Indivisible : Daniel Webster and the Birth of American Nationalism

by Joel Richard Paul

‘Arthur Miller’ Review: Only Truth for Sale

Arthur Miller|John Lahr

In plays like ‘Death of a Salesman’ and ‘The Crucible,’ Miller gave voice to the anxieties behind the optimism of mid-20th-century America. Review by Willard Spielgelman

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Arthur Miller : American Witness

by John Lahr

Fiction: ‘The Magic Kingdom’ by Russell Banks

The Magic Kingdom|Russell Banks

Plus ‘Toad’ by Katherine Dunn and ‘Now Is Not the Time to Panic’ by Kevin Wilson. Review by Sam Sacks

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The Magic Kingdom


by Russell Banks

Five Best: Books on Memory

Selected by Joshua Landy, the author of ‘The World According to Proust.’

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Books: The Top Ten Best Reviews Of October 2022


Abominations: Selected Essays From a Career of Courting Self-Destruction

By Lionel Shriver Harper

With a restless imagination and an instinct to take on progressive orthodoxies, the novelist and essayist Lionel Shriver brings her “smart, plain-spoken and unpredictable” style to subjects that many writers prefer to shy away from. Review by Meghan Cox Gurdon.

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Bruce Catton: The Army of the Potomac Trilogy

Edited by Gary W. Gallagher Library of America

In a trilogy of narratives that “broke the mold” in Civil War history, Bruce Catton told the story of the Eastern theater with an eye to the sacrifices and sufferings of the ordinary soldiers who fought and died on both sides. Review by Harold Holzer.

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The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World

By Jonathan Freedland Harper

Walter Rosenberg did not make it easy for the Nazi-allied regime in his native Slovakia to deport him—along with thousands of other Slovak Jews—to extermination camps like Auschwitz. But once he wound up there, he was determined to get out and spread the word of the ongoing genocide. Review by Diane Cole.

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The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man

By Paul Newman Knopf

A long-awaited, posthumously published memoir from the star of “Cool Hand Luke,” “The Verdict” and other classics reveals the inner world of a hard-working actor who “breathed in insecurity and exhaled doubt.” Review by Michael O’Donnell.

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The Grandest Stage: A History of the World Series

By Tyler Kepner Doubleday

What was for many years the center of the American sports calendar has lost some of its grip on the collective imagination. But a journey through October Classics past proves that the magic of the World Series still has a potent charm. Review by David M. Shribman.

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Martha Graham: When Dance Became Modern

By Neil Baldwin Knopf

The pioneering figure of modern dance was a daring innovator, a technical perfectionist and a preternaturally gifted performer. While she transformed the way a generation of dancers thought about movement, she looked for ways to claim her art firmly as an American one. Review by Hamilton Cain.

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The Oldest Cure in the World: Adventures in the Art and Science of Fasting

By Steve Hendricks Abrams Press

Fasting has a long history of use as a spiritual aid—a ritual of purification and turning away from indulgence—and as a tool for protest. But emerging science suggests that its positive effects on physical health can no longer be overlooked. Review by Matthew Rees.

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The Ray Bradbury Collection

Edited by Jonathan R. Eller Library of America

Ray Bradbury’s unique science fiction owed more to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s darkly symbolic stories than to H.G. Wells’s rationalist visions. On a Mars that held curious correspondences to the Midwestern country of Bradbury’s youth, fathers and sons negotiated the strange spaces between them. Review by Brad Leithauser.

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The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams

By Stacy Schiff Little, Brown

The “stage manager” of the American Revolution has resisted attempts by historians to pin down the details of his life. Stacy Schiff finds a potential key to Samuel Adams’s enigmatic character in the financial tumult of his family’s business. Review by Mark G. Spencer.

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The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of Empire

By Joseph Sassoon Pantheon

The business empire of the Sassoon dynasty began in Bombay, where the family of Iraqi Jews had fled to escape persecution, and flourished in the opium trade with China. The “Rothschilds of Asia” kept a low profile—and when the tides of fortune turned against them, their once-global enterprise became a distant memory. Review by Norman Lebrecht.

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Rising Inflation: The Shelter Index Explained

Changes in the housing market are often delayed in inflation data, which can make things difficult for the Fed. Housing is one of the most weighted categories when tracking inflation, but it’s also one of the most complicated to measure. WSJ’s David Harrison explains how the shelter index is calculated, and why it can muddy the inflation outlook for the Fed. Illustration: Laura Kammermann

Front Page: Wall Street Journal – October 15, 2022


Xi Jinping’s Endgame: A China Prepared for Conflict With the U.S.

Over the past 10 years, Xi Jinping has unleashed an array of military, economic and political campaigns to brace the country for what he sees as the increasingly likely prospect of confrontation with the West.

Russia Urges Evacuation of Occupied Kherson

Russian-installed officials in Ukraine’s south amplified calls for residents to leave as Kyiv’s forces step up their campaign to retake the region and Russia builds fortifications.


The Pentagon’s Recruiting Woes

By The Editorial Board | Review & Outlook

The Man Who Said Ukraine Would Win

By Tunku Varadarajan | The Weekend Interview

A More Diverse America Turns Against Racial Preferences

By John Ellis | Commentary

What the Jan. 6 Hearings Accomplished

By The Editorial Board | Review & Outlook

Ukraine Views: Inside The Recaptured City Of Izyum

Ukrainian forces have reclaimed large swaths of territory in the Kharkiv region. WSJ’s Stephen Kalin reports from the liberated city of Izyum, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to assess damage on Wednesday.

Izyum, also spelled Iziumcity, eastern Ukraine. Izyum is located 75 miles (120 km) southeast of Kharkiv on the Donets River. The earliest historical mention of it dates as early as 1571; it has been a city since 1639. Izyum is linked with Kharkiv and Luhansk by rail. Industries have included railroad repair, brick making, brewing, and optical equipment manufacture. 

Front Page: Wall Street Journal – August 29, 2022


U.N. Inspectors Head to Ukraine Nuclear Plant as Safety Fears Grow

The International Atomic Energy Agency said a team was heading to the facility to assess damage, check safety and security systems and evaluate staff conditions. The inspection will begin on Wednesday and last until

U.S. Warships Sail Through Taiwan Strait for First Time Since Pelosi Visit

The move comes amid deteriorating ties between Beijing and Washington, and as tensions rise between Taiwan and China after the U.S. House speaker’s trip earlier this month.