Home / Author Archives: Aaron Haspel

Author Archives: Aaron Haspel


I just finished Michael Lewis’s terrific book about Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager who consistently fields a great team with one of the lowest payrolls in the major leagues. The A’s are baseball commissioner Bud Selig’s particular albatross. Selig harps on the need for more baseball socialism (“revenue-sharing”) because of the alleged “inability of small market teams to ... Read More »

Bad Samaritan

Richard Price has now written seven novels; Samaritan is his latest. He also writes screenplays for booze money, although some of them, notably Sea of Love and The Color of Money, turned into quite decent movies. Price grew up in a tough neighborhood in the Bronx and knocked about some before finding his vocation. His first four novels, The Wanderers, ... Read More »

A Pattern Language

Christopher Alexander is a (now ex-) professor of architecture at Berkeley whose most famous books, The Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language, have inspired a sort of cult. He believes that in architecture beauty is attainable by following rules, or recipes, which he calls patterns. The same problems occur over and over again, and the patters, which he ... Read More »

Poetry Corner

You hate poetry, like all self-respecting people who remember the English teacher’s pet in high school, the girl who liked rainbows and Christina Rossetti. As Marianne Moore said, “I, too, dislike it.” Besides, most of the stuff you had to read was lousy. If your education in lyric poetry was anything like mine, it consisted largely of Milton, Keats and ... Read More »


Senator Paul Wellstone, who was killed in a plane crash this afternoon, was a professor of political science at Carleton College in the early 1980s, when I went there. Even then he was a charismatic figure, with a cadre of student followers, the “Wellstoners,” who tried to stir up the usual leftist trouble, organizing the local farmers into coops or ... Read More »

Enough Salinger Already

Holden Caulfield was 17 in 1951, which means that, like a lot of his fans, not to mention his creator, he’s collecting Social Security. Salinger too is retired; he had the good sense to stop writing when he had nothing left to say. So can we retire his novels too? Would that be OK? What everyone remembers about Holden is ... Read More »