Love Rebecca Traister. Love this article (“How to Be Less Stupid About Hillary Clinton’s Grandchild”). But the sponsored content RIGHT BELOW THIS ARTICLE? #fail.
Dog and cat ownership has quadrupled since the mid-1960s, [David Grimm] says, and last year Americans spent “a staggering $55 billion” on their companion animals. At the same time, he argues, “an equally dramatic transformation has taken place in the legal system”: While early American laws dismissed cats and dogs “as worthless objects that didn’t even warrant the meager legal status of property” — they could be stolen or killed without repercussions — today’s pets, he says, have “become family in the eyes of the law.” State legislatures have passed tough anticruelty acts, imposing fines and prison time on anyone who harms a cat or a dog, and “judges have begun awarding damages for mental suffering and loss of companionship to the owners of slain pets, legal claims typically reserved for the wrongful death of a spouse or child.”
Mr. Grimm gives us an engaging account of how dogs and cats came to be our best friends, examining the status various societies accorded them, from ancient Egypt, which revered the cat (Herodotus wrote that Egyptians, faced with a burning building, “appear to be occupied with no thought but that of preserving their cats”) to medieval Europe, which reviled cats as incarnations as Satan and eventually led to the slaughter of so many of them that the rodent population exploded, hastening the spread of the Black Plague.
Joseph Smith was hardly the first prophet of America’s Second Great Awakening—the tide of religious fervor that washed across the country at the start of the nineteenth century—to traffic in millenarian predictions, and he wasn’t the last. But he was the most successful. Converts followed him across the vast American continent, in conditions of unimaginable privation. Rich men, inspired by Joseph’s biblical visions, surrendered their wealth to his fledgling church. Thousands of impoverished men and women from the British Isles crammed themselves into steamships to cross the Atlantic and half of the United States to join Joseph’s flock in the American Midwest.
Yet within just a few years of their arrival, their leader was dead. Latter-day Saint historians and their Gentile colleagues have pored over many signal events in Mormon history, such as Joseph’s First Vision of God, his purported discovery of the Book of Mormon, and the Saints’ grueling trek to Utah. But most historians have ignored Joseph’s death, known to the faithful as the “martyrdom.” The church’s sacred record of Doctrine and Covenants (135:1–6) reports Joseph was killed “by an armed mob—painted black—of from 150 to 200 persons,” a phrase that appears in almost every high school history textbook in America. But the “mob” included a prominent newspaper editor, a state senator, a justice of the peace, two regimental military commanders, and men who just a few months before were faithful members of Joseph’s church. They were a “respectable set of men,” as one Carthage resident explained.
The leading citizens of southwestern Illinois could have imprisoned Joseph Smith. They could have chased him back across the Mississippi and delivered him to his old enemies in Missouri. Instead, they killed him.
From American Crucifixion, by Alex Beam. On sale April 22nd.
Could’ve saved superman a lot of trouble…
If you liked Pin Ho’s op-ed on Bo Xilai in today’s New York Times, read the e-book A DEATH IN THE LUCKY HOLIDAY HOTEL, on sale for $2.99 today.
"Of course there is a poignancy to the Graham family deciding that they can no longer maintain the Post. The Grahams were superb proprietors but the losses were mounting and their confidence was clearly undone. They retained Allen and Company to find a buyer, in itself, an extraordinary concession. But Jeff Bezos, from all we know about him, is not an opportunistic acquirer out to make his fortune. That is clearly secure. He is a man of vast ambitions and apparently, even Amazon, for all its scale and range, isn’t fulfilling them all. We can all hope that he will invest in the paper (and the smaller entities) with money and know-how in this digital age. I certainly don’t think he will choose to diminish it but we’ll need to monitor his patience and his choice of how to exercise his ownership influence.
“As for the book business, I don’t see any particular impact, certainly in the short term. This is Bezos on his own and the emphasis has been that the Post will not be part of Amazon. I’m guessing that it will not in any way distract him from his limitless aspirations to be a dominant–perhaps the dominant–figure in our industry. Jeff Bezos has already demonstrated what he can do with his commitment to build a behemoth. For the sake of journalism, I hope he will give the Post the resources it needs and secure its place as an indispensable asset to the public’s need for quality news and information.”
— Peter Osnos, founder of PublicAffairs, and former reporter and editor for the Washington Post, on the sale of the Post to Jeff Bezos
"It makes an excellent gift (For people you want to be sad)" is now our new sales pitch for all our books. And also the name of our forthcoming emo album.
Junius and Albert’s Adventures in the Confederacy gets a rave in the Washington Post AND reviewer Tony Horowitz compares Junius and Albert to Bill & Ted. Excellent.
We are pleased to announce that we will be publishing The Economist’s line of original books in North and South America beginning in January 2014. The publishing program will cover a broad range of subjects related to business, finance, economics, and the world in which we live. The Economist books include essential guides to markets, management, strategies and skills; data-rich analyses of trends and changes; professional books for specialists; and entertaining, gift-quality reference
guides for anyone at any level of the business.
We’re loving this re-imagining of what historical figures would look like in today’s society. Of course Shakespeare would be a hipster. Of course. Via Telegraph