Jan. 5, 2021 | Do dashed expectations among elites lead to social unrest? If so, beware the downwardly mobile Ph.D.... more »


Jan. 4, 2021 | In the rush to turn Frida Kahlo into a symbol, we've lost her significance as an artist, not merely a martyr  ... more »


Jan. 2, 2021 | Charm, patience, and a big budget for cognac and cigars: how John le Carré got sources to tell him everything  ... more »


Jan. 1, 2021 | Marxism and religion. The Frankfurt School theorists understood that democracy requires a dialogue between theology and reason... more »


Dec. 31, 2020 | “They call me a psychologist; this is not true,” Dostoevsky wrote. “I am merely a realist in the higher sense”   ... more »


Dec. 30, 2020 | Trotsky’s sidekick. Jean van Heijenoort was his secretary and bodyguard for seven years, and then built another life ... more »


Dec. 29, 2020 | Is our sedentary lifestyle slowly killing us? Is sitting the new smoking? "Let’s relax. The chair is not the enemy"  ... more »


Dec. 28, 2020 | Being Roger Penrose. At the heart of the Nobel-winning physicist's work are his artistry and his ideas about beauty... more »


Dec. 26, 2020 | Prisons are everywhere in the work of Charles Dickens, who knew the costs of confinement and the ubiquity of sequestered lives   ... more »


Dec. 25, 2020 | Fifty years ago, John Rawls published A Theory of Justice. Is it still possible to reason together about the common good? ... more »


Dec. 24, 2020 | Does instant communication mean the death of the literary letter? It depends on how you define a letter  ... more »


Dec. 23, 2020 | To understand why science is so widely distrusted, we must see how that attitude has arisen  ... more »


Dec. 22, 2020 | For Leonora Carrington, humanity was a seductive costume donned by dummies. Abandoning the costume courted madness but also brought liberation... more »


Dec. 21, 2020 | Liberalism, a never-ending quest to find the best way for diverse people to live together, is in decline. We need a better liberalism... more »


Dec. 19, 2020 | How to start an independent publishing house in 2020? Recruit billionaire backers, make podcast and film-rights agreements, figure out distribution... more »


Dec. 18, 2020 | In the aggregate, high expectations for the future have made the world a better place. Individually, however, it's made us miserable... more »


Dec. 17, 2020 | Beethoven and freedom. "We may judge what is merely beautiful, but sublime art judges us, or better said, it challenges us to judge ourselves”  ... more »


Dec. 16, 2020 | To say that John le Carré invented the modern spy novel doesn’t do justice to his achievement. His fictional world blurred into reality... more »


Dec. 15, 2020 | Book thieves come in two varieties: the rogue custodians, who exploit their access to literary treasures, and the academics  ... more »


Dec. 14, 2020 | Why were doctors and nurses uniquely attracted to Nazi philosophy, enlisting in much higher proportions than any other profession? ... more »


Dec. 12, 2020 | Just 11 percent of books published by large presses in 2018 were written by people of color. Why is publishing so white?... more »


Dec. 11, 2020 | For Barbara Guest, writing poetry meant no planning — just waiting for a poem to compose itself spontaneously... more »


Dec. 10, 2020 | “Steer clear of adjectives!” is an ancient piece of writerly wisdom. And yet adjectives are what reveal the genius of writers like Nabokov and Borges... more »


Dec. 9, 2020 | Was Orwell's reputation protected by his early death? He avoided several controversies that would have altered how we see him ... more »


Dec. 8, 2020 | The tortured letters of T.S. Eliot and Emily Hale. He was a married man writing incessantly and “tampering insidiously” with her mind   ... more »


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