May 13, 2011

Weekend Reading

1. I remember when Andrew Lytle died. I was a senior in high school in Chattanooga, and though I had not yet read anything he had written, my mother patiently explained the Southern Agrarians and Lytle's place in the Southern Renaissance. This beautiful essay by John Jeremiah Sullivan in the Paris Review on Andrew Lytle won a National Magazine Award this week, and it is not hard to see why. If you're an exiled Tennessean, meanwhile, this will make you miss home.

2. New York Times best-selling war memoirist Craig Mullaney
sent this great reflection on military history (.pdf) by Drew Faust to New York Times best-selling memoirist Nate Fick
and, uh, me. (Just $4.76 on Amazon, though.) I got a chance to chat with military historian and counterinsurgency enthusiast Gian Gentile
yesterday, and I gave him the essay to read on his train ride back to New York. You too will enjoy it.

3. Speaking of my less-than-stellar literary career, be sure to buy and then review the e-book to which I contributed
this week. One reviewer on Amazon has already lauded my "more than adequate" insights, so be sure and be the second to sing my praises. You might describe my grasp of Arabic intellectual history as "passable" or even "generally coherent." And you might find my scholarly insights on the decline of al-Qaeda to be "not entirely false" or perhaps "not as incomplete as I would have expected." What are you waiting for? Act now!