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Nigerian Football Fans Give Up on Juju

From First Thoughts

The head of the Nigerian Football Supporters’ Club, Rafiu Ladipo, has confessed that for years he has been using juju (traditional local magic) to try to bring the Super Eagles to victory. But no longer: “We came to realize that juju just doesn’t play football.” “There . . . . Continue Reading »

Tolstoy and the Rousseau Threshold

From First Thoughts

Arrogant Without wading too deep into any technical lit-crit battles over the so-called death of the author, I think I can safely endorse the rule that, in general, one should not criticize a writer’s work by attacking his personal life. If an author happens to have been an adulterer, a . . . . Continue Reading »

Books of the Year 2012

From First Thoughts

There is more fiction than non-fiction on this list, but that’s only because my non-fiction reading this year has been dominated by a succession of esoteric obsessions. I encountered some very good books that way, but the mini-reviews for all of them would have gone something like “A . . . . Continue Reading »

Strom Thurmond’s America, and Ours

From First Thoughts

My review of Prof. Joseph Crespino’s new biography of Strom Thurmond is in the current edition of National Review : The black comedian Dick Gregory said in 1971 that race relations in America were easy to understand: “In the North they don’t care how big I get, long as I . . . . Continue Reading »