Oct. 28, 2015 | Peggy Guggenheim is known for her wealth and sex appeal. Biographers overlook the intelligence of one of the great heroines of 20th-century art... more »

Oct. 27, 2015 | A beard is more than a beard. Whiskers are a totem of masculinity, a political statement, an economic indicator. Or so say scholars of facial hair... more »

Oct. 26, 2015 | How did Dani Rodrik, a soft-spoken Harvard economist, get caught up in a supposed military plot to overthrow the government of Turkey?... more »

Oct. 24, 2015 | Stalkers dig through an author’s trash. Biographers dig through archives. There’s a difference — right?... more »

Oct. 23, 2015 | The cross-cultural similarities of work songs and love songs suggest certain musical universals. Why do scholars find this idea so threatening?... more »

Oct. 22, 2015 | First Foucault died, then Bourdieu and Derrida. "It's become lonely for me in Paris," says Jürgen Habermas. "Whom should I meet for lunch?" ... more »

Oct. 21, 2015 | The president to Marilynne Robinson: “Why don’t I just have a conversation with somebody I really like and see how it turns out?”... more »

Oct. 20, 2015 | Reports of the death of classical music are hardly new. But demographics do prompt a question: Can it survive the death of its audience? ... more »

Oct. 19, 2015 | The trouble with travel writing. How to avoid mimicking its  macho, racist, colonial history? “You have to struggle”... more »

Oct. 17, 2015 | The tragedy of Oscar Wilde. Essential ingredients: theatricality, humor, bizarre innocence, self-belief, love, and betrayal... more »

Oct. 16, 2015 | One day in 1987, Patricia Highsmith, recently diagnosed with cancer, toured a crematorium. She put her hand inside a furnace, feeling "the warm of that retort"... more »

Oct. 15, 2015 | When it comes to making predictions, most experts are no more accurate than a dart-throwing chimp. But forecasting can indeed be taught... more »

Oct. 14, 2015 | Terrible Thoreau! Sanctimonious, egotistical, elitist, parochial, above all a hypocrite — why do we continue to respect his writing?... more »

Oct. 13, 2015 | Before he went mad and declared himself Lord Byron, John Clare composed poems about acorns and wildflowers. At least his environmental vision lives on... more »

Oct. 12, 2015 | Ivan Maisky became Soviet ambassador to London in 1932. He stayed for 11 years. His diary — dishy, insightful — rewrites the era... more »

Oct. 10, 2015 | In 1962, Tom Wolfe was a young, out-of-work journalist. Eighteen months later, he was famous. He knew what the public wanted: eccentricity... more »

Oct. 9, 2015 | Constable vs. Turner; Newton vs. Leibniz; Edison vs. Tesla. Does having an intellectual rival spur creativity? History suggests so... more »

Oct. 8, 2015 | George Scialabba, an introvert at work in a windowless basement at Harvard, is a critic's critic: Not widely known, but widely admired... more »

Oct. 7, 2015 | The tyranny of experts. How a superrich coterie in Washington State holds sway over the fate of the hungry and the powerless... more »

Oct. 6, 2015 | When memory disappears. Life with dementia — misery, anger, sadness, dark comedy — is an awkward teeter between despair and hope ... more »

Oct. 5, 2015 | Paul Theroux visited Patagonia and the Congo and Sikkim before reaching the American South — where he indulged in every possible cliché... more »

Oct. 3, 2015 | Ancient Romans, they're just like us: ill-fated military escapades, social-welfare policies, urban living, corruption. The similarities, however, are misleading... more »

Oct. 2, 2015 | John Updike was most openly himself as a poet. Thus his focus on the erotic and on bodily functions: “Fellatio,” "Mouse Sex," “The Beautiful Bowel Movement”... more »

Oct. 1, 2015 | Marxism Today — feisty, fractious, produced on a shoestring — published its last issue in 1991. It's never been more relevant ... more »

Sept. 30, 2015 | Invented in 1874, barbed wire has proved resilient both functionally and symbolically. Robert Zaretsky uncoils its tragic history... more »

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