12 books we read this week

Assessment of “The economic weapon”: the limits of sanctions, from Abyssinia to Ukraine

After the First World, the victors hoped to avoid conflict by preemptively punishing the economies of countries that violated the international order. It didn’t always work. Review by Paul Kennedy

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A Habsburg to be reckoned with: two books on Marie-Thérèse

When the young Empress suddenly came to power, her European rivals prepared for her swift defeat. They were wrong. Review by A. Wess Mitchell

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” Who’s deciding ? » Review: The Supreme Court, the States and the Race for Control

Political disputes, legal battles and overlapping claims pit one level of government against another. Commentary by Josh Blackman

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“Born in Blackness” Review: Slavery and Capital at the Dawn of a New World

As an African gold-funded empire, the enslavement of Africans made imperial markets incredibly lucrative. Review by Tunku Varadarajan

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‘Free Love’ review: She leaves home

In Tessa Hadley’s novel, an English family is torn by social changes both externally and internally. Review by Katherine A. Powers

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Critique of ‘Clive Bell and the Making of Modernism’: Overlooked in Bloomsbury

The art critic, pacifist and brother-in-law of Virginia Woolf was neglected in favor of his contemporaries. Review by Donna Rifkind

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Fiction: the review of the “Books of Jacob” by Olga Tokarczuk

A Nobel Prize winner’s novel about a charismatic Jewish mystic evokes savage religious upheaval with an unearthly coldness. Review by Sam Sacks

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Critique of Dvořák’s Prophecy: An Untapped Legacy

The Czech composer came to New York with the conviction that African-American melodies would be the “nursery” of 20th century music. Review by John Check

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Mysteries: review of “The Farewell Coast”

Joe Ide plots a new plot for Raymond Chandler’s beloved detective, Philip Marlowe. Review by Tom Nolan

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Children’s books: Newbery and Caldecott winners

American Library Association winners include “The Last Cuentista”, “Watercress”, and “Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre”. Review by Meghan Cox Gurdon

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Five Best: Books on the British Monarchy

Selected by Tracy Borman, author of “Crown & Scepter: A New History of the British Monarchy, from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II”.

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Colin L. Johnson