April 7, 2016 | Praise pretension! It’s a noble cultural yearning, an assertion of intellectual ambition, a refusal to be defined by a reductive understanding of oneself... more »

April 6, 2016 | Eugenics is now seen as harmful folly. But once it was beloved of progressives, reformers, and intellectual elites. And nowhere was it more central than at Harvard... more »

April 5, 2016 | Adrienne Rich’s feminism changed her life and her poetry. It also placed her at odds with Susan Sontag, who regarded such moralizing as powerful but limiting... more »

April 4, 2016 | Paranoia, brutality, longevity: Stalin's three decades in power have the ingredients of a great novel. So why the dearth of Stalinist fiction?... more »

April 2, 2016 | Who was Terry Southern? Writer, faded celebrity, stoner-raconteur, and pioneer of all that was breathless, new, and weird in the '60s... more »

April 1, 2016 | Darwin did not take metaphors lightly. He honed them and defended them. That was the case with "natural selection," which wasn't his first choice for evolution... more »

March 31, 2016 | When languages meet, one usually dies. And revival is rare. That’s a depressing thought for a linguist who finds English kind of boring... more »

March 30, 2016 | Nathan Glazer is an intellectual loner by temperament and design. Also because he possesses that rare thing: a willingness to change his mind... more »

March 29, 2016 | Was Shakespeare rich? He was well-to-do, akin to the minor gentry in Stratford-upon-Avon, but not wealthy. Nothing like his rival, Ben Jonson... more »

March 28, 2016 | Camus in America. He was attracted by the hospitality but repelled by the superficiality. “The secret to conversation here is to talk in order to say nothing” ... more »

March 26, 2016 | It's magisterial, built of mahogany with a leather writing surface. It even appeared on a book jacket. Will no one buy Saul Bellow's desk?... more »

March 25, 2016 | Odd fact: More than a few jihadists have studied engineering. Why? It's not about nationality or religion, but about how they think... more »

March 24, 2016 | They gather each morning at 8:30 in a converted warehouse in Long Island City. What brings them together is a shared belief that the 20th century ruined art... more »

March 23, 2016 | Economics has a reputation for ideological diversity, even conservatism. But the field has a radical past that argues for a different future... more »

March 22, 2016 | Journalism is in perpetual crisis. But a savior has emerged. It's called sponsored content, and it's surreal... more »

March 21, 2016 | Hilary Putnam, dead at 89, led a life of reason and argument. He was a thinker of breadth. “Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell belongs in one”... more »

March 19, 2016 | Jan Gross forced Poland to reckon with its complicity in the Holocaust. Now an effort is underway to undermine the historian and sanitize the past... more »

March 18, 2016 | How a cocky amateur violinist became a professional thief. The tale of the stolen Stradivarius has to do with the wall between one’s past and one’s present... more »

March 17, 2016 | Far from helpless, young Emily Dickinson bombarded the world with her poems. As Camille Paglia puts it, "The brutality of this belle of Amherst would stop a truck"... more »

March 16, 2016 | The riddle of the modern economy is not that overworked professionals are miserable. It's that they are not. When did work become a refuge?... more »

March 15, 2016 | Does writer's block exist? Yes. And while blocked writers are blocked in their own ways, the remedy is the same: Think of something ludicrous... more »

March 14, 2016 | The meaning of death. Diogenes wanted his body left outside for the animals. His request still shocks. Why?... more »

March 12, 2016 | Whether "idiot optimist" or "art in every sense," Mickey Mouse, at 90, is American cinema's most durable icon... more »

March 11, 2016 | Never fear: Earbuds are not atomizing society, isolating individuals even in a crowd. Musical experiences are inherently social, even when you listen alone... more »

March 10, 2016 | 1,885 paintings, 1,228 sculptures, 7,089 drawings, 30,000 prints, 150 sketchbooks, 3,222 ceramic works: That's what Picasso left behind. Then there are the fakes... more »

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