Profile of Ed Voves
Ed Voves is a free-lance writer, based in Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife, the artist Anne Lloyd, and a swarm of cats who love curling up with good books.
Mr. Voves graduated with a B.A. in History from LaSalle University in 1976 and a Masters in Information Science from Drexel University in 1989. After teaching for several years with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, he worked in the news research department for “The Philadelphia Inquirer” and the “Philadelphia Daily News,” 1985 to 2003. It was with the “Daily News,” that he began his free-lance writing, doing book reviews and author interviews with such notable figures as Umberto Eco, Maurice Sendak and Peter O’Toole. For the “Inquirer,” he specialized in reviews of major historical works. Following his time with the newspapers, he worked as an independent researcher for Knowledge@Wharton, the online journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the staff of the Free Library of Philadelphia in 2005 and is currently the branch manager of the Kingsessing Branch in southwest Philadelphia. In 2006, he began writing for the “California Literary Review.”
Articles written for the California Literary Review:
- Book Review: Lincoln’s Hundred Days by Louis P. Masur
Posted on 25 Oct 2012 in Books, History, Non-Fiction Reviews
The determination to end slavery may not have figured initially as a Union war aim for most of the young men in Blue who did the fighting and dying. But Masur quotes from numerous soldier letters and diaries to prove that many Union troops were horrified by the conditions that they found in the south, particularly the enslavement of children fathered by their own “masters.”
- Book Review: Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan
Posted on 15 Oct 2012 in Biography, Books, History, Native American, Non-Fiction Reviews, Photography
The course of Curtis’ campaign to document the lives and life style of the Native American peoples is related by Egan with considerable detail and page-turning élan. There were plenty of incidents of physical ordeal and, in some cases, real danger. An Apache medicine man who divulged secrets of his tribe’s religious practices died under suspicious circumstances shortly after Curtis left the reservation. That fate might well have befallen Curtis…
- Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Posted on 11 Oct 2012 in Art, Art & Design
It demonstrates, as few earlier Warhol exhibits have done, the “sensation” that the trend-setting artist created in the 1960’s and 70’s. Love his art or hate it, you cannot dismiss Andy Warhol. He opened our eyes to the realm of modern design. He changed the way we see the world.
- Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries — Jewish Museum of New York
Posted on 27 Sep 2012 in Art, Art & Design, Religion
To look at one of the treasures on display in this wonderful exhibit, the Kennicott Bible, is to view an example of the shared heritage of Jews, Christians and Muslims. This is the key note of Crossing Borders. The Kennicott Bible and the other stunning, hand-written works on display show the “cross-pollination” of art and ideas among the cultured elites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam during the Middle Ages. More to the point, it is a testament to the shared devotion of these three faiths to the same God.
- Book Review: The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
Posted on 10 Sep 2012 in Books, China, Fiction Reviews, Japan
The Garden of Evening Mists is set in three inter-linked time frames. Past and present struggle to reconcile Yun Ling’s memories of wartime suffering and loss. But Yun Ling is faced by a cruel dilemma. Soon she will no longer have a future. Her brilliant, sensitive mind is slowly deteriorating from an incurable neurological disease. Oblivion will settle Yun Ling’s efforts to find inner peace if she does not achieve it first.
- Book Review: Diaries by George Orwell
Posted on 28 Aug 2012 in Biography, Books, Great Britain, History, Non-Fiction Reviews
Europe had yet to recover from the First World War and the Allied peoples were at a grave psychological disadvantage in comparison with the civilian population of Nazi Germany. Through nearly a decade of political indoctrination, news censorship and threats of imprisonment or worse, the German people were schooled for war. To Orwell, the only things that could shake the British out of their complacency were the drone of the engines of German aircraft over London and the detonation of the bombs they dropped.
- Book Review: The Chinatown War: Chinese Los Angeles and the Massacre of 1871 by Scott Zesch
Posted on 22 Aug 2012 in Asian American, Books, History, Non-Fiction Reviews
As the 1860’s ended, the steadily growing numbers of Chinese immigrants led to fears that eventually their numbers would outstrip those of California’s white population. And the Chinese themselves became more “Americanized” in their response to insults, assaults and robbery attempts. As attacks by Anglos and Latinos escalated and as factional fighting grew in their own ranks, Chinese in California increasingly armed themselves with Colt 45s. Increasingly, they began to shoot back.
- Art Review: Encounters: Conflict, Dialogue, Discovery Princeton University Art Museum
Posted on 06 Aug 2012 in Art, Art & Design, China, Japan
Zhang transformed Mr. Quaker into Chairman Mao five years after he emigrated to the United States. The birth of Chinese “Political Pop” took place in his New York studio. This is an ironical state of affairs, all the more apparent in Six Pack of Kekou Kele, created in 2002. Is Zhang commenting here on the way that China’s millennia-old civilization is being crassly mass-marketed to enhance its leading role in the global economy? Or is it a subtle indictment of the West’s heedless consumerism, so oblivious to culture that it can appreciate nothing unless it is a familiar brand product beckoning from the supermarket shelf?
- Art Review: Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Posted on 10 Jul 2012 in Art, Art & Design
A dark mass of ominous clouds invades the blue sky in La Grande Bacchanale. In Et in Arcadia Ego, painted a decade later, Arcadian shepherds ponder a cryptic tomb inscription where Death proclaims, “Even in Arcadia, I am.” The message is clear. Happiness, even in Arcadia, is not going to last.
- Book Review: The Second World War by Antony Beevor
Posted on 25 Jun 2012 in Books, History, Military, Non-Fiction Reviews
Hitler’s Final Solution was not a separate campaign of mass murder, parallel to the fighting on the battlefronts. Instead, the Nazi assault on the Jews was characteristic of the depraved nature of the entire war. Daring commando raids and tank attacks were the stuff of movie newsreels. The “real” war was prosecuted with civilian-targeted aerial bombardments, starvation as a weapon, orgies of rape and torture and other government-sanctioned acts of mass homicide.
- Two New York City Exhibits Explore the Art and Culture of Renaissance Venice
Posted on 06 Jun 2012 in Art, Art & Design, Italy
The Venetians during the Renaissance were a confident and resilient people. Even as their dominions were threatened by the Turks and global trade routes shifted away from the Mediterranean Sea, they found the inner resources to cope with these challenges. You have only to look at the magnificent portraits from the Accademia Carrara at the Metropolitan Museum to understand why the Republic of Venice lasted until Napoleon’s invasion in 1798.
- Book Review: The Poems of Jesus Christ Translated by Willis Barnstone
Posted on 09 May 2012 in Books, Non-Fiction Reviews, Religion
As Barnstone notes in his introduction, Aramaic has verse forms that are difficult to render in Western languages like Greek, Latin and eventually English. The Gospels, the “Good News” of Jesus, were written down and shared with the rest of the world in prose, not poetry. A vital link to the actual words of Jesus was lost.
- The Dawn of Egyptian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Posted on 30 Apr 2012 in Art, Art & Design, Egypt
The statue is nicknamed “The Lady of Brussels” because its home museum is in Belgium. It is one of the oldest free-standing statues in the world, dated to around 2695 BC. The “Lady” certainly has her charms. She is wearing one of the extraordinary wigs that were such a noteworthy item of feminine beauty in Ancient Egypt. But her restrained, submissive pose somehow disappoints when contrasted with the energy and mysticism of the mysterious “Bird Woman,” created a thousand years earlier.
- Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Posted on 17 Apr 2012 in Art, Art & Design, Religion
The Metropolitan Museum exhibition charts the fascinating, if complex, process of cultural transformation that took place throughout the Middle East during the seventh to ninth centuries. For all of the thrust-and-parry military campaigns that took place, a spirit of mutual accommodation often characterized relations between the Byzantine Empire and the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates that governed the Islamic world for much of the Middle Ages.
- John Constable: Oil Sketches from the Victoria and Albert Museum
Posted on 04 Apr 2012 in Art, Art & Design, Great Britain
Constable’s approach to landscape painting, however, was far more than an exercise in nostalgia. Instead, he rooted his appreciation of nature in the “here and now” of everyday life. Through paintings like Hampstead Heath, Branch Hill Pond, Constable presented scenes of human beings interacting with nature, not despoiling it. With these works, he bequeathed a sense of the precious nature of the world around us, in whatever age and place we call home.
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