Aug. 10, 2017 | In the mid-1970s, Marcel Ophuls began work on a documentary about how people look away from or justify or deny what is done in their name. The film disappeared, until now... more »


Aug. 9, 2017 | Previously unknown drawings, letters, and poems by Sylvia Plath have been discovered. Where's the novel she was working on when she died?... more »


Aug. 8, 2017 | Robert Louis Stevenson spent his last five years in Samoa, where the locals couldn't comprehend how he earned his living as a writer... more »


Aug. 7, 2017 | E.H. Carr is best known for being consistently and egregiously wrong. But his treatment of historical change endures as a bulwark against despair... more »


Aug. 5, 2017 | When a tuberculosis epidemic resulted in a glut of X-rays, it became an opportunity to subvert Soviet censorship of music... more »


Aug. 4, 2017 | Good news: You have a contract to publish your book. Bad news: The deadline was 30 years ago... more »


Aug. 3, 2017 | David Gelernter predicted that the internet would become an excellent environment for thinking. He was wrong... more »


Aug. 2, 2017 | Claude Shannon was a poet, juggler, unicyclist, machinist, futurist, and gambler who wrote “the Magna Carta of the Information Age”... more »


Aug. 1, 2017 | Music as mental exercise. The pianist Mal Waldron did more than gig with Billie Holiday, Allen Ginsberg, and Lenny Bruce. He cultivated an analytical style... more »


July 31, 2017 | Paul Fussell radiated curmudgeonly intelligence about Orwell, nude beaches, the Indianapolis 500, and his great topic: class in America... more »


July 29, 2017 | A book can change the world. Can a book review? In 1967, Norman Mailer reviewed a memoir by his friend Norman Podhoretz. American politics has never quite been the same... more »


July 28, 2017 | Richard Rorty thought of himself as an American philosopher. American philosophers saw him as a European intellectual, and his philosophy as a betrayal. It wasn't... more »


July 27, 2017 | Disturbed by the state of the world, W.S. Merwin turned to environmentalism. He cultivated a garden composted with manuscripts that other poets had sent him... more »


July 26, 2017 | The tradition of Kant, Hegel, and Habermas has given way to slick performers. Is German philosophy exchanging profundity for popularity?... more »


July 25, 2017 | After Rosencrantz and Guildenstern humiliated Tom Stoppard, the play took off. Asked what it was really about, he said, “It’s about to make me very rich”... more »


July 24, 2017 | Le Monde diplo v. Bernard-Henri Lévy. The monthly releases a "dossier" portraying him as a mafia-type oligarch. BHL responds... more »


July 22, 2017 | Leonardo and Michelangelo were driven and difficult, which is central to their modern appeal. The less mercurial Raphael is more admired than loved... more »


July 21, 2017 | A new history of the right is red meat for the left. Critics have tried to dismantle the book, footnote by footnote. Has anyone actually read it?... more »


July 20, 2017 | Gene editing threatens to homogenize society, says Atul Gawande. Aberrant yet valuable characteristics are under threat. Think of George Church's narcolepsy... more »


July 19, 2017 | Rather than “Which side are you on?,” Samuel Huntington wrote, the question in the post-Cold War world would be “Who are you?” What a prescient insight... more »


July 18, 2017 | Darwin and women. Publicly dismissive of the female intellect, in private he was completely dependent on it... more »


July 17, 2017 | Among most economists, globalization has been seen as both inevitable and salutary. Now the cracks in that consensus have split wide open... more »


July 15, 2017 | Questions of policy and of social science run on different tracks. Mixing them gets complicated. Consider Brown v. Board of Education... more »


July 14, 2017 | Information existed before Claude Shannon, but there was little sense of it as an idea, an object of hard science. His insight made our world possible... more »


July 13, 2017 | 20th-century American conservatism was a combination of inherited reflexes and political opportunism that never made any sense. Now it's come undone... more »


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