Feb. 17, 2017 | Norman Mailer helped free the convicted murderer Jack Henry Abbott, promising him work as his literary assistant. Shortly after Abbott’s release, he killed again... more »


Feb. 16, 2017 | How to make the color red: Scholars and artists long sought the tools. Arsenic, Asian flora, sulfur, mercury, and ox blood have been involved... more »


Feb. 15, 2017 | Capitalism has no serious rival. Yet its ability to deliver economic growth has been tarnished. It's time for a new, pragmatic capitalism. Paul Collier explains... more »


Feb. 14, 2017 | From Ms. magazine to Audre Lorde. Feminism, never a consensus, is an embrace of conflict, an intellectual series of fights, breaks, and ruptures... more »


Feb. 13, 2017 | Craving, exhilaration, intoxication, obsessiveness, withdrawal, helplessness: Love is like cocaine. Helen Fisher explains... more »


Feb. 11, 2017 | Moralists like Zola and Camus have given way to propagandists like Zemmour and Houellebecq. The French intellectual is dead. Long live the French intellectual... more »


Feb. 10, 2017 | Money is hardly a measure of literary value. But literary work is deeply connected to its author's financial circumstances... more »


Feb. 9, 2017 | Albert Murray's Omni-American Blues. The contrarian culture critic pursued an argument about what it means to be black ... more »


Feb. 8, 2017 | The Searle-Derrida dispute. How a narrow question about language led to accusations of ignorance and the split between analytic and continental philosophy... more »


Feb. 7, 2017 | "Tell me what you like,” said John Ruskin, “and I’ll tell you what you are.” Such was the spell he cast, people of culture didn't know what to think until he told them... more »


Feb. 6, 2017 | Jane Jacobs was a writer of caustic, lucid, vigorous prose, and an activist with a slippery political orientation... more »


Feb. 4, 2017 | Can polyamorous relationships be made boring and respectable? Carrie Jenkins makes a philosophical case for multiple loves... more »


Feb. 3, 2017 | Think tanks are modern, but they can be traced to the humanist academies of the 17th century. They've always been caught between political interests and the common good... more »


Feb. 2, 2017 | Descent of a discipline. Once philosophers appeared on TV and guided heads of state. Now they write journal articles for one another... more »


Feb. 1, 2017 | Herbert Hoover and his wife translated a 16th-century text on the “nature of subterranean things.” Inside a strange saga of politics and philosophy... more »


Jan. 31, 2017 | Daniel Kahneman likened his relationship with Amos Tversky to a marriage. It was among the most successful marriage of minds in academic history. Here's how it broke up ... more »


Jan. 30, 2017 | Poets write honestly about everything. Everything except money -- and their lack of it. What explains the taboo?... more »


Jan. 28, 2017 | Camus and Sartre smoked together, womanized together, talked shop. Newspapers covered their every move. They were inseparable. Then Sartre read The Rebel... more »


Jan. 27, 2017 | Book collecting is many things: evidence of cultural refinement, humblebrag about one’s intellectual ambition, symptom of hoarding. But sexiness?... more »


Jan. 26, 2017 | Three pipes in the morning, four in the afternoon, three more in the evening. After the death of a friend, Jean Cocteau turned to opium... more »


Jan. 25, 2017 | America has always been in love with Shakespeare. But it’s a complicated affair. He's a figure of unusual reverence, but also vexation... more »


Jan. 24, 2017 | Freud’s founding circle had 13 members. Only one was gentile. Almost all of their patients were Jewish as well. How to explain the Jewish predilection for psychoanalysis?... more »


Jan. 23, 2017 | “I am ill & cannot help. Forgive. So go ahead without me.” With that, Samuel Beckett, committed to correspondence yet overwhelmed by his epistolary duties, signed off... more »


Jan. 21, 2017 | Re-examining the Belle of Amherst. Emily Dickinson was allergic to orthodoxy, a resister of rules, and, in the parlance of Mount Holyoke, a “No-Hoper”... more »


Jan. 20, 2017 | A grandfather clock the size of a stick of chewing gum, a Giacometti-style bronze in the palm of your hand. Inside the strange aesthetics of miniatures... more »


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