Reading “The UnAmericans” and Revisiting John McPhee’s “The Ransom of Russian Art”

There are many reasons to read The UnAmericans, Molly Antopol’s terrific debut collection; many of them are covered by Jason Diamond’s recent piece on the book. For me, one of the side benefits to reading it was through its invocation of another notable book: John McPhee’s The Ransom of Russian Art. McPhee’s book, first published in 1994, focuses on the curious life of Norton Dodge, an economist who, during the Cold War, smuggled numerous works of art out of the Soviet Union, […]

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