Dr. Thomas J. West III
Political, cultural, and social commentary from a quasi-academic perspective
Created 12 Jan 2021
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  • The Pleasures of Poirot: "The ABC Murders"
    15 Sep 2021 • 8 min read
    Warning: Full spoilers for all versions of The ABC Murders follow. In this week’s installment of “The Pleasures of Poirot,” I want to talk about The ABC Murders, which was published in 1936 and has ha...
  • Book Review: "Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency"
    13 Sep 2021 • 4 min read
    I have, to put it mildly, a rather skeptical attitude toward the “journalism” of Michael Wolff. While I found Fire and Fury to be a sinfully delicious read, I found Siege to be a rather empty affair, ...
  • The Pleasures of Poirot: "After the Funeral"
    10 Sep 2021 • 6 min read • 0 1
    I’m embarking on a rather herculean effort: to read all of the Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries written by Agatha Christie and to watch all their screen adaptations and write about them here. Original...
  • Book Review: "Daughters of Chivalry: The Forgotten Princesses of King Edward Longshanks"
    09 Sep 2021 • 4 min read
    In the annals of English monarchical history, there are few kings quite as (in)famous as Edward I, known as Longshanks. He is, after all, the primary villain in the epic film Braveheart, where he make...
  • The Unapologetic Instability of Archer
    07 Sep 2021 • 4 min read
    From the moment that it premiered on FX in 2009, Archer made it clear that it was something special. It took the caustic irony of a workplace comedy like The Office and combined it with the raunchy an...
  • Your Weekly Joy: September 4, 2021
    04 Sep 2021 • 4 min read
    I’ve needed some joy this week. I’ve been wrestling with some anxiety stuff (big surprise, there), and so I’ve been turning to the screen and the written word to find a bit of escape. I’ve also been v...
  • "Physical" and the Demythologizing of Reagan's America
    03 Sep 2021 • 6 min read
    Like many of the other original series on Apple TV+, Physical has struggled to gain much critical love. In the consensus of Rotten Tomatoes, not even the powerful, searing performance of Rose Byrne is...
  • Book Review: "The Triumph of Empire: The Roman World from Hadrian to Constantine"
    02 Sep 2021 • 4 min read
    It’s sometimes difficult to find a popular history book that manages to seamlessly combine erudition and rigor with elegance and [ease of understanding], but that’s precisely what Michael Kulikowski h...
  • Book Review: "Daughters of Sparta"
    31 Aug 2021 • 4 min read
    I’m always up for a juicy retelling of classical myth, and this seems to be something of a golden age for the genre, with the Trojan War occupying pride of place. In just the last decade alone we’ve h...
  • The Queer Pathos of Jennifer Coolidge
    27 Aug 2021 • 6 min read
    I first became aware of Jennifer Coolidge from her role in American Pie, where she played the mother of main character Stifler (mostly referred to simply as “Stifler’s mom”). In some ways, this was th...