Books on the beauty of nature and the nature of humanity

Two reviews of Yale Press titles appeared in the April 17th edition of the New York Review of Books.

Andrew Butterfield reviewed Poussin and Nature: Arcadian Visions, edited by Pierre Rosenberg and Keith Christiansen. Butterfield praises the “ravishingly beautiful exhibition, … one that attempts to renew our understanding of the artist.” He particularly admires the essay by Willibald Sauerländer, calling it “brilliant.” Read the entire review here.

Poussin and Nature: Arcadian Visions: Pierre Rosenberg and Keith ChristiansenThis beautiful catalogue presents the first in-depth examination of Poussin’s landscapes. Featured here are more than 40 paintings, ranging from the artist’s early Venetian-inspired pastorals to his grandly structured and austere works, designed as metaphors or allegories for the processes of nature. Also included are approximately 60 drawings and essays by internationally renowned scholars who examine the painter’s visual, literary, and philosophical influences as well as his relationships with his patrons and his place in the art-historical canon.

Elsewhere in the New York Review of Books, William H. McNeill reviewed Ben Kiernan’s Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur, calling it an “even-handed treatment of mass violence as exercised by Asians, Africans, and Europeans.” He went on to say, “The time I spent reading Kiernan’s pages raised a disturbing question about the ways I have habitually and deliberately chosen to focus my own efforts to write world history.” Read the entire review here.

Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur: Ben KiernanFor thirty years Ben Kiernan has been deeply involved in the study of genocide and crimes against humanity. He has played a key role in unearthing confidential documentation of the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge. His writings have transformed our understanding not only of twentieth-century Cambodia but also of the historical phenomenon of genocide. This new book—the first global history of genocide and extermination from ancient times—is among his most important achievements. View the table of contents, or read an excerpt.

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