The Corner

Summer Reading

We gave our reading lists at the beginning of the summer, but full disclosure demands we say at the end what we really read.

I didn’t read anything I thought I would. Instead, I read James Atlas’s biography of Delmore Schwartz. Atlas gave himself a tough assignment. Writers do not have obviously eventful lives, unless they are Lord Byron; and the major “event” of Schwartz’s life, madness, is itself dull. Altas managed to be both admiring and clear-eyed.

I also read The Radetzky March, by Joseph Roth, which depitcts the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Engrossing, beautifully written, shattering.

Historian Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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