Lepore's weighty new history of the United States, "Those Truths," received a glowing review from right-wing writer Andrew Sullivan in the Sunday book review.
An essay taken from Lepore's book ran on the front page of the Sunday Review opinion section.
Then, on Monday morning, the Times ran a profile of Lepore on the front page of its arts section.
The 942-page book is the first general history of the United States to appear in years, and one of the first written by a woman. Along with her books on subjects ranging from Benjamin Franklin's sister, Jane, to the creator of the Wonder Woman character, Lepore writes for the New Yorker magazine.
With the burst of attention she received from the Times, I found myself in the cultural vanguard after the surprise finding of Lepore's new book at the Northside Branch of the Atlanta-Fulton County public library last week.
Although I've read only one of Lepore's books, "Joe Gould's Teeth," a fresh look at the New York eccentric made famous by New Yorker writer Joesph Mithcell, I've long enjoyed her pieces for the same magazine.
I especially remember Lepore's examination of how the NRA and the Second Amendment became a potent political touchstone during Ronald Reagan's administration, and her recent review of a new volume of Rachel Carson's writings. The New Yorker also published an except from Lepore's book on Jane Franklin, who, unlike her illustrious brother, lived near poverty although her letters showed flashes of his literary ability.
So far, I've found Lepore's look at the Europeans' discovery of the new world enlightening and entertaining. Her in-depth scholarly research for "These Truths" doesn't detract from the drama of such events as Columbus' voyage and the English settlement of North America.
She examines the dichotomy between the English settlers' desire for liberty and their increasing justification for enslaving blacks transported from Africa and destroying Native American cultures. At first, she finds, the English were more enlightened than the Spanish and Portuguese, but those attitudes shifted, with tragic ramifications that still bedevil us.