Aug. 29, 2015 | In Chimen Abramsky's house of books – 20,000 titles – the walls were made of words. It smelled old and musty but was one of left-wing London's great salons... more »

Aug. 28, 2015 | It's been said that the novelist is the historian of the present and the historian the novelist of the past. Consider how Edward Gibbon aligned scholarship with art... more »

Aug. 27, 2015 | Irving Kristol, “godfather” of neoconservatism, was foremost an anti-utopian. Odd that neoconservative foreign policy is such a crusade... more »

Aug. 26, 2015 | The Henry Kissinger reputation restoration project is in full swing. Volume 1 of an authorized biography delivers 1,000 pages of unconvincing claptrap... more »

Aug. 25, 2015 | You've heard of it. You can picture it (think "armored bikini”). But the chastity belt was a myth, mostly... more »

Aug. 24, 2015 | Are research retractions increasing because errors and misdeeds are more common, or because science is more scrutinized? Both. And the latter cures the former... more »

Aug. 22, 2015 | Lucia Berlin’s life was rich and eventful. Her experience — mining camps, yacht clubs, slums — became her writing... more »

Aug. 21, 2015 | Kant is associated with optimism, ambition, progress. But he suffered from depression and “general morbid feelings.” His last word: “Enough”... more »

Aug. 20, 2015 | The invention of the color black. From the Industrial Revolution to Pollock's drip paintings, black has depicted negation, chaos, but also joy... more »

Aug. 19, 2015 | Tom Friedman vs. Bill Flack. One is a noted columnist, the other an irrigation specialist. One is world-famous, the other a nobody. Yet Flack is better at forecasting the future... more »

Aug. 18, 2015 | Joan Didion’s anti-journalism. She disliked interviews, did little reporting, and failed to "get" the story. Her brilliance came another way — close reading... more »

Aug. 17, 2015 | An economy must provide the possibility of a good life -- a life in which creativity and imagination can flourish. It no longer does so in the West... more »

Aug. 15, 2015 | Responsibility, solidarity, moral clarity: What it's like to read and discuss Tony Judt in a Soviet-era bunker in wartime Ukraine... more »

Aug. 14, 2015 | David Foster Wallace dissected the chauvinism of writers like John Updike: “Just a penis with a thesaurus.” Yet Wallace is central to the pretensions of Updike's heirs... more »

Aug. 13, 2015 | The punch-happy writer is a literary cliche. We recognize the usual suspects: Hemingway, Mailer, Bukowski. But Keats, Camus, Lawrence, Thackeray? Who knew?... more »

Aug. 12, 2015 | Literature, art, music, architecture, religion, and science all have canons. What about the ingredients stirred into the tastes of our time? Why not a culinary canon?... more »

Aug. 11, 2015 | When and how did news of the Holocaust first reach the West? An investigation discovers no conspiracy of silence, but much ignorance... more »

Aug. 10, 2015 | According to Walker Percy, disaster brings focus, connection, engagement. A hurricane can be therapeutic... more »

Aug. 8, 2015 | Machiavelli was brilliant, ruthless, cunning, clear-eyed, mercurial, a little boastful, and pathetic. But a comedian?... more »

Aug. 7, 2015 | A. Alvarez helped establish Lowell, Plath, and Berryman but felt something was missing from their work: a political message. Then he found Miroslav Holub... more »

Aug. 6, 2015 | In which W.B. Yeats shows up at a meeting of the Sex Education Society in London in 1937, charms a young woman, and discusses his libido... more »

Aug. 5, 2015 | Perhaps it's true that Vidal and Buckley's 1968 debates, a master class in ad hominem insults, ushered in an era of televised gasbaggery. But what gasbaggery it was!... more »

Aug. 4, 2015 | Max Beerbohm — critic, novelist, caricaturist — remains an inspiration and a mystery: Why did this major talent limit himself to relatively minor achievements?... more »

Aug. 3, 2015 | Charlie Hebdo survived a massacre. Now it faces a dangerous new challenge: sudden wealth. Long poor, the publication is flush... more »

Aug. 1, 2015 | When Hayek met Wittgenstein. It was 1918, and the two artillery ensigns — and ardent socialists — shared a train back to the war. Hayek was forever changed... more »

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