Category Archives: books

Nick Cohen on the flaws of the “cultural appropriation” warriors

I keep saying that Nick Cohen is an Anglophonic treasure. In terms of his straightforwardness and adherence to classical rather than Regressive Leftism, he’s the closest thing we have to the late Christopher Hitchens. And everyone should read his two books You Can’t Read this Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom and What’s Left?: How Liberals […]

Peter Singer’s new books on ethics

Peter Singer’s new book on ethics, a series of short essays about real-world ethical issues, came out September 13 (Princeton University Press), and already it’s Amazon’s #1 release in “Philosophy of Ethics and Morality”. I’ll be reading it for sure, as Singer is one philosopher who has something to say about how real people live […]

Lionel Shriver’s full speech on literature and cultural appropriation

On September 11 I wrote about an article in the Guardian by black Australian Muslim author Yasmin Abdel-Magied. Her piece, “As Lionel Shriver made light of identity, I had no choice but to walk out on her,” describes how Abdel-Magied was deeply triggered by a speech by novelist Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin and other books) at […]

More Egnorance about Darwin and language in the Washington Post

Well, given the number of comments on my review in the Washington Post of Tom Wolfe’s abysmal new book on Darwin, Chomsky, and the evolutionary basis of language (Wolfe says there is no such basis), I shouldn’t have been surprised that there would be pushback from readers. But what I didn’t expect was that one of the […]

France 24 interviews Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie has a “new” book (see below), although it’s actually a year old. And review have been mixed (see this versus this, for example). I haven’t read it, so readers who have should weigh in below.  This interview with France 24’s Marc Perelman is nominally about the book, but really deals with a number […]

Offended Guardian writer walks out of talk on “cultural appropriation” of fiction

Since it’s important to the article I’m going to mention, I note that its author, Yasmin Abdel-Magied, is a black Australian Muslim woman. Her piece in yesterday’s Guardian, “As Lionel Shriver made light of identity, I had no choice but to walk out on her,” is a long whine about how authors of one gender or […]

NPR’s Barbara King dismisses Tom Wolfe’s knowledge of evolution, but still recommends reading his new book

Barbara King, a retired anthropology professor at William and Mary (my alma mater), has a regular column at National Public Radio’s (NPR’s), Cosmos & Culture site.  The column this week, “Evolution uproar: What to do when a famous author dismisses Darwin, ” is devoted to Tom Wolfe’s new book The Kingdom Of Speech, which I reviewed […]

I’m #3

This is gratifying, despite the numerous creationists infesting the comments—people who don’t know squat about biology and nevertheless feel compelled to pronounce on it. Several people said, “We know nothing about speciation,” apparently unaware that I wrote a 450-page book telling biologists what we know (and want to know) about that very field! Even worse […]

Two morning tw**ts

Although I don’t follow anyone on Twi**er, as I’d never get anything done if I did, I do count on the kindness of stranger (and readers) to call interesting tw**ts to my attention. Here’s one that Grania sent me. I must admit, this solution to the trolley problem had escaped me… https://t.co/qBpTilAwT9 — Sam Harris (@SamHarrisOrg) […]

NYT’s pathetic summary of Tom Wolfe’s book misses the boat on evolution and linguistics

What would a major newspaper do if they were discussing the views of a famous scientist who went off the rails about something unrelated to their profession? Take Lynn Margulis, for example, rightly renowned for promulgating (but not inventing) the idea that mitochondria within cells are actually the remnants of bacteria, showing an ancient event in […]