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Despite the absence of jazz in Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby, its release is bound to be accompanied by a rash of books about the jazz age, of which Judith Mackrell's Flappers is likely to be one of the better ones. Between the first world war and the great depression, a new breed of woman briefly flourished, rebelling against traditional female roles: the flapper.
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Two views of contemporary Russia have currency today. One is of a vigorous Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nation led by the equally vigorous Vladimir Putin. The other, put forward by Oliver Bullough in his second book, is of a dying nation. As Russia's economy slows to a halt, an examination of the second view couldn't be more timely.Read full review
One of the thrills of riding a motorbike is the sensation of being carried by a machine far more powerful than you. This is how Rachel Kushner's exhilarating second novel moves: deftly, and at great velocity, but with power and precision. It's so good, it's a little frightening.Read full review