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  "Reflections on the Revolution in Europe", "Safe Haven", "Wrestling With Moses"

Book Review

For fall reading, for reading anytime, three important books focused on radically different subject matter and time periods - - all  with something to say.  "Reflections on the Revolution in Europe"  by Christopher Caldwell (Doubleday, $30, 422 pages) is as timely and important as today's headlines. Carefully researched, written in a riveting style, this book explicates and explains the demographic revolution that Europe has undergone - -most of it not for the good.

The anger of natives and newcomers as well as the moral balancing act that exists are all given the up close treatment. 

The book's sub-title is "Immigration, Islam and the West." That is the focus and in that focus is food for much thought. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING.

"Safe Haven" BY Allis Radosh and Ronald Radosh (HarperCollins, $27.99, 448 pages) could have been a terrific tome. The authors certainly have the track record to have produced one. Somehow, this book with its significant subject matter about Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel gets mired in too many details, too many asides, too many unedited and repetitious sections.  Still, the subject matter is so compelling that " Safe Haven" deserves a look.

Anthony Flint's "Wrestling With Moses" (Random House. $27.00, 231 pages) is all about Jane Jacobs who took on Robert Moses in what was once billed at the battle of New York. It is a story worth telling in detail even though parts of it have been covered in other books including our "It Happened in Manhattan."

Back in the day, Jacobs was a young mother of three, who, lived in Greenwich Village. Robert Moses, was as Robert Caro so accurately and artfully dubbed him, the "power broker."

Jacobs and "a bunch of mothers" in the phrase uttered by Moses blocked his plans to create a Lower Manhattan Expressway and to block traffic through Washington Square Park. It was David versus Goliath and David won and all the better for all of us and for American cities.

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About the Authors:  Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.

They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU

This Article is Copyright 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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