Magazine March 8, 2010, Issue

Revel against the Machine

Communists wave Soviet flags near the statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in Stavropol, Russia, May 1, 2009. (Eduard Korniyenko/Reuters)
Last Exit to Utopia: The Survival of Socialism in a Post-Soviet Era, by Jean-François Revel (Encounter, 300 pp., $23.95)

Jean-François Revel was marvelously intelligent, witty, no respecter of persons, a lover of the good life, cosmopolitan with a bias in favor of Italy, up to date with the news and the gossip and the latest books in several languages — in short, the kind of Frenchman everyone hopes to meet but hardly ever does. He and Raymond Aron were editors and columnists for L’Express, the weekly magazine that used to have a readership of 3 million, and it’s not much of an exaggeration to say that in their day they were the two commentators in Paris most worth reading.

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Zamboni Baloney

It turns out the Vancouver Olympics “electric Zambonis” are not Zambonis at all, but are manufactured by a company called Resurfice.

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