Book of the week

Painting of woman reading letter

Book of the week: Academics need to hit the brakes and work to change the system they’re in, says Emma Rees

Henry Bibb. Sojourner Truth and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Book of the week: Blacks were key agents in the international battle against slavery, Olivette Otele writes

The Hoarders and Wasters illustration (1857), Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri

Book of the week: Reconstructing Dante’s life via the Divine Comedy is a complex but enlightening task, says Prue Shaw

Hope Jahren, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Book of the week: A spirited palaeobotanist’s memoir splices flora with friendship and family, says Cait MacPhee

Elaine and Willem de Kooning standing in front of painting

Book of the week: Tracey Warr on De Kooning’s iterative output and his fascination with the physicality of paint

Jonathan Mirsky speaking to Fang Lizhi

Book of the week: The Chinese government’s persecution of Fang Lizhi remains baffling, says Jonathan Mirsky

Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (Ligo), Livingston, Louisiana

Book of the week: Marcus Chown on a portrait of those who drove the Ligo project and helped to find gravitational waves

Burning surface of the sun

Book of the week: The Sun’s magnetic fields make it much more than a dull ball of hot gas, says Marcus Chown

Person jumping for joy on seafront promenade

Book of the week: Facts and figures can get you only so far when it comes to political change, says Gordon Marsden

Julia Ward Howe writing at desk, 1906

Book of the week: For the poet told to lay down her pen on becoming a wife, writing was freedom, finds Catherine Clinton

Man teaching creative art to general infantry (GI) soldiers

Book of the week: the former universities minister reviews James Axtell's account of the institutions that educate the US elite

Male conductor conducting orchestral concert

Book of the week: With people vulnerable to bias, lack of diversity might be better tackled at organisational level, Victoria Bateman says

Men marching behind flags with swastikas on them

Book of the week: A portrait of the failure who became Führer detects early signs of a Final Solution, says Robert Gellately

The Saturdays, Jo Brand, Red Nose Day, Comic Relief

Book of the week: Angelia Wilson on a call for us to take seriously our political responsibility for global poverty

Nurse speaks with doctor. Stanford University Hospital and Clinics

Book of the week: In an extraordinary voice, a neurosurgeon wrestles with his looming untimely death, says Jennifer Rohn

Lauren Redniss illustrations in Thunder and Lightning, 2016

Book of the week: Exquisite images trigger the sensations of terror and wonder that nature inspires, says Philip Hoare

Person walking on rail tracks (detail)

Book of the week: Jane O’Grady on a thought experiment that is an endless platform for exploring ethical principles

Soldier firing gun at woman and child, World War Two

Book of the week: Two approaches to the Holocaust are blended in a pioneering historian’s last work, Neil Gregor writes

Oort cloud surrounding solar system (illustration)

Book of the week: An invisible force causes extinctions – science or sci-fi? Nature will decide, says Marcus Chown

Man holding baseball bat in tunnel

Book of the week: Tim Hall on post-Soviet criminal clans, diverse and complex groups to whom lawlessness is anathema

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