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A More Perfect Union – The New York Times

“The Engagement,” by Sasha Issenberg, chronicles the complex and chaotic chain reaction that pushed same-sex marriage from the realm of conservative guesswork to the top of the gay political agenda and ultimately to the halls of the Supreme Court. In this week’s podcast, Issenberg talks about the much sought-after book, which covers 25 years of legal and cultural history.

“What they did, in the end,” he said of those who won the victory, “helped to embed, both in the legal process and in American culture, the feeling that the marriage is a unique institution. And the language they used to talk about it – about love and commitment – is so particular, I think, to the dynamic between two people that in some respect, marriage is one. more central institution in American life today than it was 30 years ago, because we’ve been through this political struggle over it.

J. Hoberman visits the podcast to discuss his article on 10 Books That Taken Together Tell Hollywood History. He explains, among other things, why the only celebrity memoir on his list is “Lulu in Hollywood” by Louise Brooks, who performed in the 1920s and 1930s and published her memoirs much later in her life.

“She was a remarkably clear-sighted observer of what was going on,” says Hoberman, “and went into this whole star-making thing with a healthy degree of ambivalence. So she’s able to write about herself- even and about the conditions the movies were made in and the people she met in Hollywood, etc., in a way that was both personal and detached. There aren’t many other memoirs like this one. -this.

Also in this week’s episode, Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; Tina Jordan reflects on Book Review history as she celebrates her 125th birthday; and Elisabeth Egan and Andrew LaVallee talk about what they read. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books covered in “What We Read” this week:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and the Book Review podcast in general. You can send them to

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