FIRST LINES FROM NEW BOOKS OUT TODAY: MAY 21, 2012
"Is it possible and does it make sense to deal with the last four years of Wolfgang Amade Mozart’s creative life without being fixated on the catastrophe of the composer’s premature end? His death forever changed the course of musical classicism at the turn of the eighteenth century because—to give just one example—it robbed Beethoven of the chance to compose near the idolized role model that originally brought him to Vienna. Indeed, the musical world has never come to terms with the untimely death of one of its greatest heroes."
Mozart at the Gateway to His Fortune: Serving the Emperor, 1788-1791 by Christoph Wolff
"On December 14, 1799, America’s first president awoke with a sore throat, which was soon accompanied by a fever. At six that morning, George Washington’s doctors agreed it was time for a bloodletting. Eighteen ounces of blood later, the patient’s condition had not improved, and he was bled twice more. Not long after, Washington was unable to breathe—medical historians believe that he suffered from an infection of the epiglottis—and a tracheotomy was performed. A fourth roun dof bloodletting followed, to no avail. Washington gasped for breath like a drowning man and died late that evening, around ten o’clock."
Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution by Holly Tucker
"This is a book not about the decline of America but rather about the rise of everyone else."
The Post-American World, Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria