39 RTB Books in Dark Times 12: Carlo Rotella (JP)

Carlo Rotella of Boston College is author of six books, among them the amazing Good With Their Hands: Boxers, Bluesmen, and Other Characters from the Rust Belt (University of California Press, 2002) and most recently The World Is Always Coming to an End:  Pulling Together and Apart in a Chicago Neighborhood (University of Chicago Press, 2019). What is he reading in the darkness? He starts by praising sagas, makes a case for stories of disagreeableness and plugs a remarkable book about preaching, deception, and the urge to belong.

Tacitus, Germania

Njal’s Saga (this image from Möðruvallabók , c. 1350)
Egil’s Saga, from 1240 or before (this ms. 17th century)

Prose Edda

Poetic Edda

Haldor Laxness, Iceland’s Bell

Mitch Weiss, Broken Faith

Lawrence Wright, Going Clear (2013)

P. G. Wodehouse My Man Jeeves (indeed, 1919)

The Wizard of Id

Robert E. Howard, Conan (first appearance 1932)

Listen to the episode here:

Read the transcript here:

Upcoming Episodes: Our Global Policing Series shifts to Turkey with Hayal Akarsu. Historian of Science Lorraine Daston’s “Books in Dark Times” is waiting in the wings. It looks to be the series finale.