5 reasons you should buy a copy of Battle Lines today.

Battle Lines is in stock and ready and to ship. Here are 5 reasons you should buy a copy.

5) The images are “heartbreaking” and “revelatory.” The panoramas are “breathtaking.” If you can’t trust the people who write promotional copy, who can you trust?

4) I asked Ben Bernanke, and there’s no better hedge against inflation than converting your cash into substantial holdings of graphic books.

3) Jonathan Fetter-Vorm needs a new boat.

2) Of all the things I’ve written, “Battle Lines” is the thing I hate the least.

1) You want to reward me for this bit of annoying self-promotion.

Seriously, just buy a copy already. If you do, I’ll stop bugging you.

Lived long and prospered.

Leonard Nimoy’s Spock made the most powerful case for the value of emotional intelligence* that I’ve ever seen. I’m also pretty sure that the Roanoke episode of “In Search Of…” made me the historian I am today. And, more important still, his life offscreen suggested that personal decency can far outstrip fame. RIP to a wonderful entertainer and a better person.

I’d like to think that he wouldn’t want this forgotten:

And here’s Nimoy on Roanoke:

Also, a friend points out, a great Jew:

* Yeah, it’s not a great phrase, but there it is.

What we do.

Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members captures the absurdity of the present moment in the hallowed halls of academe: the beleaguered state of the humanities; the way a shrinking pie has left even tenured scholars, already an insecure subset of the species, more fragile than usual; the fraught relationship between faculty and their administrative paymasters.

In all honestly, it’s not an important book by any measure. But it’s a very easy read. Schumacher organizes Dear Committee Members around a series of letters of recommendation written by a senior member of an English department at a small, Midwestern college. The conceit works well, and there are a number of laugh-out-loud scenes. You should read it for the lulz!