Magazine June 1, 2020, Issue

Signatures: A Nourishing Intellectual Feast

Albert Speer (left) and Arno Breker (right), flank Adolf Hitler in Paris, France, June 23, 1940. (Wikimedia Commons/U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)
Signatures: Literary Encounters of a Lifetime, by David Pryce-Jones (Encounter, 266 pp., $28.99)

There is a genre of book that constitutes the happiest — rather than guiltiest — pleasure for book-lovers: books about books. Books that seem to tap into the echt, the origin-pleasure of reading. Books that exemplify why reading remains the supreme vehicle for the transmission not just of facts or of history, but of memory.

Take an author who possesses the skill for capturing this essence and combines it with the spirit of a gentleman, the taste of a connoisseur, the eye of a gossip, and the knowledge of a historian, and you get near to what I think might be

This article appears as “A Literary Feast” in the June 1, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




A reader responds to Theodore Kupfer and Ramesh Ponnuru’s article, “Coronavirus Lockdowns: Going the Distance.”


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