“Rust is ubiquitous,” writes Jonathan Waldman. “It seizes up weapons, manhandles mufflers, destroys highway guardrails, and spreads like a cancer in concrete.” It’s the No. 1 threat to the U. S. Navy and spells trouble for everything from canned vegetables to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. “Rust,” he declares, “represents the disordering of the modern” — and yet “a rust-free world would be a world without metal.” Read full article >>
Preston Lauterbach’s history of Beale Street, the three-block stretch of Memphis thoroughfare that was a microcosm of American culture from Reconstruction to World War II, is a chronicle of muddy streets, ornery hombres, fancy women, jazz, a disregard for the little law that existed, and a thirst for profit, be it from whiskey, a flourishing sex trade or political corruption, singly and in combination.
When the Los Angeles Review of Books Web site debuted in 2012, I thought it was quixotic and unnecessary, but its smart essays and elegant design immediately won me over. This month, the LARB gave birth to a literary magazine called the Offing. The first issue contains a chapter from James Hannaham’s fantastic new novel “Delicious Foods” and a witty piece called “The New & Selected Tweets of Eighties Man,” by Alena Smith.