Top Twos-Day: History revisited

I focus your attention on two books this week where controversy still abounds. Glean from the historical tidbits, reality steeped in sensation, but nonetheless, important works.

George Orwell, who penned Animal Farm and 1984,was a complex soul, never more evident than in this latest work, George Orwell: Diaries edited by Peter Davison (W.W. Norton, August 2012). “Orwell, whose great curiosity is focused on plants, animals, woodwork, and…it may be the Orwell whose political observations and critical thinking have enthralled and inspired generations…” is still a mystery today (Orwell Diaries Blog). Unraveling the man and his mindset is Davison’s goal. Read excerpts of the diary at Orwell Diaries.

Thomas J. Craughwell, author of “Stealing Lincoln’s Body” and “Saints Behaving Badly” brings us Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brulee: How A Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America, (Quirkbooks, September 2012). Yet another offbeat story with plenty of documented details. “James Hemings (half-brother to his beloved, recently deceased wife, Martha…learned the art of French cuisine and, once back as chef of Monticello, earned his freedom by imparting that knowledge to his younger brother.” (Publisher’s Weekly) Exclusive excerpts, recipes and the author’s Q & A are here.


More Top Twos-Days…

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  1. “animal farm” is commonly taught in high schools, but it’s been my experience that most high school literature teachers do not fully grasp what it’s about. they’re better off trying to teach “charlotte’s web” instead because it’s more on their level. the teachers, not the students. i loved “1984” but i’m really worn out on the dystopian theme. enough already!

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