Deals, News, Reviews & Writer’s Resources

The Depressing Cycle of Racial Accusation

The arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. is about neither racial profiling nor playing the race card.

Last night even the president weighed in, saying police acted "stupidly" by arresting Gates. Strong words, but Obama in his typically diplomatic style was careful to say he couldn't tell what role race played in the incident. The president got it right: There's no plausible justification for the arrest. It was worse than stupid—it was abusive. And that raises the suspicion that it was racially motivated. But there's really no evidence that the police officer involved was a racist rather than a bully with a badge or a decent cop who made a bad call in the...

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Is apathy a brain "disorder?"

Christopher Lane discusses the  fifth edition of The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorderstoday in Slate.  

To read his thoughts, click here.

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Sashi Kaufman has a great blog post up with trips, tricks and words of wisdom she has collected from fellow writers friends about revising her novel.

Click here to read them!

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Pharma's misguided TV pitches

Commercials for vanity pharmaceuticals are worse than insulting -- they divert attention from serious medical problems, increase healthcare costs and warp research priorities.

By Christopher Lane
July 22, 200, 9 Los Angeles Times

"It's amazing what an hour of aimless channel surfing can turn up these days.

After some freewheeling with the remote one night recently, I managed to catch not only half a dozen low-budget makeover shows but also three ads for FDA-approved pharmaceuticals: one for depression, another for premenstrual dysphoric disorder and a third for inadequate eyelash syndrome -- sorry, "eyelash hypotrichosis." Prescription treatment for "longer, thicker and darker lashes"? Fellow...

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This has been going around and we just had to share it. The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, North Carolina has put out a great short video about why you should shop at your local bookstore instead of ordering from Amazon.

You can view the video by clicking here.

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From the Washington Post's "Short Stack":

"John Lancaster's review of my new book on the 1967 Israeli attack on the American spy ship U.S.S. Liberty has stirred a lot of online debate - much of it heated - among Washington Post readers in recent days. One reader argued that the United States should retaliate and sink an Israeli ship and call it an accident. Another urged Congress to investigate. Others have criticized Israeli and American Middle East policy.

Some readers are equally passionate in their defense of Israel for what it has always maintained was a tragic accident. Many point out that Israel was a close American ally, involved in a hectic and fast-paced war in the desert and had everything to lose by attacking a U.S. ship. Both sides point to many of the same documents - though with differing interpretations - to hammer home their points. ... "

To read the rest of Scott's response,...

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The Kill Zone has a great guest post by agent Anne Hawkins about all the reasons (including the three Ps: personal taste, passion, and platform) why a good agent might turn down a good book. 

To read the post, click here.

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Misguided Missiles

By John Lancaster Sunday, July 12, 2009, Washuington Post

"...  A new book, "The Attack on the Liberty," by James Scott, stops short of a final verdict on that charge. Still, after reading this comprehensive and compelling account, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Israel's actions were, at a minimum, criminally negligent -- and harder still to understand why no one in Israel was punished. For this, the United States also bears some of the blame. Drawing on newly declassified documents and interviews with survivors and former officials, Scott argues that the Johnson administration deliberately soft-pedaled the incident to avoid straining relations with an important Cold War ally and its American backers.

Scott, a South Carolina journalist, is the son of a Liberty survivor and has a good feel for life on board the converted World War...

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Miss Conduct’s Mind Over Manners: Master the Slippery Rules of Modern Ethics

By JUDITH CHETTLE, Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 5th, 2009

"Navigating one's way in contemporary society is no longer merely a question of knowing which fork to use. Rather, as Robin Abrahams persuasively reports in "Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners," it is knowing how to cope with "the dilemmas that live in the gray area between ethics and protocol."

For the rest of the review, click here.

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Yale Law School professor Michael Graetz's THE END OF ENERGY, which recounts the legacy of failed 1970s approaches to energy policy and what we must do to create effective policies for the future, to John Covell at MIT Press, by Wendy Strothman at The Strothman Agency (World).

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