In Nexus Review, professional experts and young talents review classical works, groundbreaking studies and topical essays on art, culture, history, politics and philosophy, combining a critical outlook with a broad vision and an accessible style. The books discussed in Nexus Review offer a broad view of culture, society and history that goes beyond a myopic concern with current affairs.


All reviews

Lost in Thought
The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life
Author Zena Hitz
By Derek van Zoonen
An excellent example of what it aims to capture: solid, high-quality, splendidly useless thinking in action.
The Unnamable Present
Author Roberto Calasso
By Filippo Pietrogrande
A wealth of topics: from Baudelaire to Kafka, Benjamin and Weil; from sacrifice to the sacred, the process of secularization and digital society.
Time and Power
Author Christopher Clark
By Jilt Jorritsma
‘Time and Power’ aims to break with the ingrained belief that cyclical conceptions of time were eclipsed by a linear view of time
What Are We Doing Here?
Author Marilynne Robinson
By Wojtek Wieczorek
Robinson submerges us in her intellectual as well as everyday world, which we finally leave far more knowledgeable and sensitive
The Intimacies of Four Continents
Author Lisa Lowe
By Jesse van Amelsvoort
Lisa Lowe’s new monograph is indispensable for anyone interested in political theory, history and postcolonialism.
The Age of Genius
The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind
Author A.C. Grayling
By Jesse van Amelsvoort
The Age of Genius seems as ambitious and eccentric as any of Grayling’s undertakings, but finds itself undermined by exactly those qualities.
Author David Nirenberg
By Scott Ury
Nirenberg’s goals and methods are clearly defined and the end result is an intellectual tour-de-force.
Psychoanalytic Reflections on Politics
Fatherlands in Mothers’ Hands
Author Eszter Salgó
By Danae Karydaki
Bringing together psychoanalysis and politics has always been a fascinating, yet challenging task. Salgó attempts to ‘wed’ psychoanalysis with politics. And just as every marriage, this attempt comes with its happy moments as well as its weaknesses.
The Two Latin Cultures
and the Foundation of Renaissance Humanism in Medieval Italy
Author Ronald G. Witt
By Nicholas Mann
This magnificent study, to which no brief summary can do justice, offers a narrative of uncommon density, built upon and expanding a massive body of scholarship.
Richard Wagner
A Life in Music
Author Martin Geck
By Tobias Hermans
Geck indirectly shows us the profound transformative force which Wagner retains to this very day and which transcends his life and music.
Author A.C. Grayling
By Neel Burton
Grayling seeks to define friendship and, in so doing, explores its many forms, facets, charms, and consolations.
Vanished Kingdoms
The History of Half-Forgotten Europe
Author Norman Davies
By Mahon Murphy
His main priorities are, as he states, to highlight the contrast between times present and times past and to explore the workings of historical memory.
Letters to a Young Scientist
Author E.O. Wilson
By Suzanne Bisschop
We get to know E.O. Wilson as a man who likes to solve the puzzles nature has in store, and through this process comes to some great discoveries.
To Save Everything, Click Here
Technology, Solutionism and the Urge to Fix Problems That Don’t Exist
Author Evgeny Morozov
By Yoni Van Den Eede
The phenomena we frame as problems and try to eliminate once and for all should actually be recognized as blessings which contribute in wholly constructive ways to our human well-being and societal organization.
The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation
Author Richard Sennett
By Frank Furedi
Through colonising people’s life world, the managerial imperative empties informality of content and then recycles it as a tool of management.
Was ist ein Intellektueller?
Rückblicke und Vorblicke
Author Richard Faber
By Franziska Meifort
Since making one’s standpoint known in public is inevitably part of the concept of the intellectual, it is seen as a phenomenon of (mass media) modernity by most scholars.
How Much is Enough
The Love of Money, and the Case for the Good Life
Author Robert Skidelsky & Edward Skidelsky
By Johan Graafland
Modern liberal theory and neoclassical economics have a virtual monopoly on public discourse.
Iron Curtain
The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956
Author Anne Applebaum
By Eszter Salgó
The author’s sensibility, her insights into and delicate description of people’s moral and psychological collapse, make the book particularly powerful.
The Age of Confucian Rule
The Song Transformation of China
Author Dieter Kuhn
By Ina Asim
It was the ethical and philosophical quests by Song intellectuals that shaped Neo-Confucian ideology into the persisting foundation of the Chinese civilized state.
The Testament of Mary
Author Colm Tóibín
By Kate Costello-Sullivan
Tóibín once again hauntingly reminds us that truth is always at least partly subjective, and that individual truths merit the same respect and dignity as their authorized counterparts.
Moscow, The Fourth Rome
Stalinism, Cosmopolitanism, and the Evolution of Soviet Culture, 1931-1941
Author Katerina Clark
By Olga Velikanova
The most significant part of the book is the study of state ambition, self-representation, expressed in official rhetoric, cultural politics and writings of the Soviet intellectuals.
A Philosophical History of Love
Author Wayne Cristaudo
By Alan Janik
Uninitiated undergraduates are in for a feast of nourishing ideas about love, whereas their professors will tend to grumble about the book’s smorgasbord character.
The Great Sea
A Human History of the Mediterranean
Author David Abulafia
By Charles Dalli
The role of the Mediterranean crossroads in bringing together the people from across it, and far beyond, is highlighted through a narrative style which ensures the place of the story in the history.
Ausgewählte Gedichte
Author Hermann Hesse
By Salvatore Campisi
The general artistic lure of some of Hesse’s poems is fading away; however, they maintain an exceptionally powerful human appeal, especially where Hesse’s love of life emerges: Und jedes Lied und jedes Buch / Und jedes Bild ist ein Enthüllen.
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