Why Read Moby-Dick?

Although Hemingway said that all modern American literature comes from Huckleberry Finn, a case might be made for Moby-Dick as the model for everything that followed in fiction. If Nathaniel Philbrick stops just short of such an assertion, he nevertheless launches a spirited defense of Melville's notoriously unwieldy book. Having unpacked the real-life incidents behind Moby-Dick in his National Book Award-winning In the Heart of the Sea, Philbrick focuses here on the transformative magic employed by Melville in his creation of Ahab's quest.

July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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