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Author Fadiman's Book Reviews

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
The author, journalist daughter of grand old man of 20th century American letters Clifton Fadiman, wrote this series of essays about books and reading for "Civilization" magazine. The pieces are charming, erudite, warm, and funny, and include her thoughts about marrying her personal library with that of her husband, compulsive proofreaders, the love of fancy words, how to treat (and not to mistreat) a book, offbeat reading tastes, plagiarism, and the joy...
The Spirit Catches You, and You Fall Down
In the 1960s, the CIA recruited a primitive but fiercely independent people in Laos -- the mountain farmer/nomads known as the Hmong -- to fight the Communist forces, and all but promised to take care of them if they and the US lost. When the war was lost, many of the Hmong were abandoned to imprisonment and death, but those who were "rescued" and brought to the states fared no better: Their clans were dispersed, their culture all but destroyed, and thei...