The new books we feature in this issue do important things for their readers, but three completely different things. John Kaag’s new book Sick Souls, Healthy Minds is an outright self-helpish account of “how William James can save your life.” Our reviewer, Tess Varner, says she enjoyed it so much she had bought copies for two friends in the time it took her to write the review.
Kate Manne’s new book on misogyny, Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women, helps the reader better understand a particularly insidious evil in the world around us. Serene Khader praises the book for its “brilliant” account of the way misogyny is often implemented in the key of ethics, or pseudo-ethics. The misogynist has distinctive ways of blaming, praising, and making demands on women.
And then there’s a book that helps us understand a notoriously difficult but energizing writer. Maudemarie Clark and Andrew Winerreview Simply Nietzsche, Peter Kail’s new introduction to Nietzsche’s life and writing, calling the philosopher’s notoriously provocative books downright “dazzling.” They admire Kail’s “lucid” introduction, with qualifications.
Jean Kazez’s column provides a different service: absolution for anyone who reacted to news of Donald Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis with something less than sorrow. Wishing people ill is generally frowned upon, but this is a special case.