In The New York Review of Books you wrote a great article called “The Charms of Wikipedia.” Why do you like Wikipedia so much?--Marshal Zeringue
Wikipedia is great because it can be gigantic without being gigantic. It can grow like some vast underwater reef, with eels hiding in the shadows. It has proven that a heterogeneous, sometimes irritable community can do something revolutionary and life-improving, without leaders.
Were you surprised at the response to your book on World War Two, Human Smoke, which got a lot of knickers in a twist?
If you think about the Second World War for any length of time, it will make you terribly sad, or angry, or both. It’s sometimes easier to be angry at an amateur historian like me, than at the real villains whose words I quote.
You have a number of books that are considered works of literary erotica. May I ask for your thoughts on the Fifty Shades of Grey hoo-ha?
Haven’t read the book. I’m not wired for dominance or submission—it seems a distraction. Misuse of...[read on]