The provocative and best-selling author Christopher Hitchens takes the helm of the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of this perennial favorite that is reliable and yet still surprisingthe best of the best” (Kirkus Reviews).
This collection is satisfying in its unexpected diversity and tasty juxtapositions--from Garry Wills’s conservative “apostasy” to Matt Labash’s surprising portrait of Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry, Walter Isaacson’s look at how Einstein divided American Zionism to Steven L. Isenberg’s recollections of his encounters with four British superstar writers when he was a fledgling New York editor. Elif Batuman gives an offbeat report on speculation about how Tolstoy died, and Zadie Smith looks at Obama, Shakespeare, and the expression of inner conflict between cultures. And what essay collection would be complete without one on the godfather of the form, Michel de Montaigne, in a piece by Jane Kramer? The sources are as diverse as the subjects: the Alaska Quarterly, American Scholar, Harvard Review, Oregon Humanities, and the Weekly Standard. Every reader will come away delighted and enlightened. (Oct. 5)