Word association with “airship” probably yields responses ranging from “Goodyear Blimp” to “Hindenburg.” Perhaps there’s also a vague sense that airships had their greatest run in popularity during the early 20th century, transatlantic crossings and all. In “His Majesty’s Airship: The Life and Tragic Death of the World’s Largest Flying Machine,” S.C. Gwynne unfurls this […]
About Jason Sullivan
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Entries by Jason Sullivan
How vast individual wealth is amassed often hits its mark in biographies. We know the usual suspects: Carnegie, Rockefeller, Jobs. Within each is a story of a commodity or a manufactured good, something tangible for the mind’s eye. Concentrated wealth by way of finance capital is a more nebulous biographic endeavor. Rarer still are novelizations […]
There’s a refrain that spans time and distance. When circumstances are what they are, someone will shrug and say, “It is what it is.” In Dennis Lehane’s gritty new novel, “Small Mercies,” the residents of 1970s South Boston say this, along with such things as “Whatta ya gonna do.” It’s not a question, of course, […]
A perk of landing at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport is the resplendent rollout of the Manhattan skyline. As you descend into the maw of a great city, you’ll find it outside your left window. Taking off from LaGuardia, you’ll find another famous—albeit grimmer—NYC scene, this time just outside your right window: Rikers Island. There’s […]
If you peruse a public library’s nonfiction section, you’ll eventually wander into a grizzly sector: true crime. Chances are you won’t bump into me there. While “understanding” the psychoses of serial killers is laudable, I can’t shake the horrid end that came to their victims. So, I’ll usually find something else to read, thanks. Still, […]
The Victorian era conjures much to mind, and it’s often a word salad of Britishness: the Brontë sisters, tea and crumpets, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” It can go on and on. Conspicuous consumption had long been in place among the British aristocracy, where the finest of art was displayed to demonstrate one’s perceived cultural superiority. […]
At the risk of alienating some readers right from the jump, I’ll go ahead and say that having children in your life is a blast, especially during the toddler years. My son and daughter are well past this age, but I revered being a part of their daily soaking up the world anew. All children […]
It’s something we know without recalling perhaps when and where we learned it: The dinosaurs were taken out by an asteroid. (Well, the non-avian dinosaurs went extinct. The avian dinosaurs—birds—made it.) The most famous of the Earth’s mass extinction events (its fifth), it happened around 66 million years ago. Without it, this very day could […]
If you are of a certain age, you may recall Jonathan Franzen, even if you have yet to read his work. Think back to 2001, when Oprah selected Franzen’s “The Corrections” for her book club. This made the literary author decidedly uncomfortable. He publicly stated he considered himself from the “high-art literary tradition” and that […]
Pity the Middle Ages, so often derided as the dreary placeholder between the classical and modern eras. Or, worse, it’s a catchall for all things retrograde. Want to insult some people? Tell them that their ideas are from the Middle Ages or that their actions are medieval. Dan Jones, author of “Powers and Thrones: A […]
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