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Our Favorite Books: Part Five

All good things must come to an end and so with a list of books that will last us until next year we say adieu to the “Our Favorite Books” (part one, two, three and four) series with some last recommendations and a holiday treat after the jump. Thank you to everyone who submitted their favorite book and Happy Holidays!

Brad Andrews– National Accounts Manager

A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy by David Oshinsky. Before he wrote his Pulitzer Prizewinning Polio: An American Story, Oshinsky wrote this utterly engrossing, comprehensive and often riveting account of the rise and fall of one of 20th century America’s most influential and polarizing figures. Covering Joe McCarthy’s humble beginnings in a Wisconsin Irish farming family to his entry into the dog-eat-dog world of politics – first as a judge, and later on the national scene as a Senator. “Tailgunner Joe” became a relentless campaigner who exercised attack politics long before Karl Rove, and during a time of Cold War fear and doubt over how effectively our government addressed threats abroad. McCarthy’s personal demons are elegantly depicted here, including his bouts with alcoholism. It is not just a portrait of a man but of an era he helped define, an era of paranoia over the true reach of the Communist shadow across America; an era not unlike our own today.

Judith Luna– Commissioning Editor, Oxford World’s Classics

My favorite book of the moment is Hester, by Margaret Oliphant. The story revolves around two strong women – the older Catherine Vernon, head of the family bank, a businesswoman who provides for the rest of her family but whose apparent command is not all it seems, and the younger Hester, equally wilful and destined to clash head on with Catherine. Around these two characters is a wonderful cast of family and friends and as the plot deepens, and love and greed threaten ruin, you’re on the edge of your seat. The characters’ are so believably complex that you are completely under the spell of the book, and anyone who loves Trollope or the Brontes or any of the great Victorian novelists will love this.

Some pictures from the OUP Holiday Party 2006.
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