June 25, 2019 | During the Cold War, America's culture policy was foreign policy. Since then, America's culture policy has become a culture war... more »


June 24, 2019 | "Summer reading is always a balancing act between the books I have loved, the books I feel I oughta love, and the books I sense I will love"... more »


June 22, 2019 | Is discussion overrated? Is it not as likely to generate bitterness, and division as it is to enlighten or foster consensus?... more »


June 21, 2019 | If the Apollo missions brought us the age of consumer technology, Jill Lepore isn't impressed: "My country went to the moon and all I got was this lousy surveillance state"... more »


June 20, 2019 | The buzzword of this decade is authenticity, which is a shame because it impedes progress and aspiration... more »


June 19, 2019 | Svetlana Alexievich is on a mission to collect memories before they disappear, to correct for the rewriting of history by propaganda... more »


June 18, 2019 | “We live today in a laboratory of human suffering as vast and terrible as that in which Dickens and Dostoyevsky wrote.” The America of Nelson Algren’s imagination... more »


June 17, 2019 | Lacan, the terrible. He was avaricious, classist, and an awful father. Tasked with treating his suffering daughter, he headed to the brothel instead... more »


June 15, 2019 | The origins of beach reading. A 19th-century invention, it was for “airy, buoyant, salty, sunny, breezy” books. Or, it was the consumption of “pestiferous trash”... more »


June 14, 2019 | What is liberalism? A politics? A temperament? A credo? Maybe it's like a rhinoceros: A once-successful animal that now stands on the edge of extinction... more »


June 13, 2019 | The debate over political correctness has devolved into camps hardened by moralism and hypocrisy. Another path is possible... more »


June 12, 2019 | Jared Diamond once at least went through the motions of adding statistical and scholarly evidence to his books. No longer... more »


June 11, 2019 | Intellectuals easily uncover Orwellian traits in American politics. They have a harder time, writes George Packer, acknowledging the Thought Police closer to home... more »


June 10, 2019 | Andrea Dworkin was prescient; she lived a version of Me Too long before Me Too. Yet her analysis of pornography has little traction. Why?... more »


June 8, 2019 | Sylvia Plath at Smith College. She read Chaucer and Dante, and she broke off relationships. “I want a man who isn’t jealous of my creativity in other fields than children”... more »


June 7, 2019 | This year the Modern Language Association’s annual conference took as its principal subject the death of its own significance... more »


June 6, 2019 | The ever-expanding subtitle. Publishers pile up keywords in a mad attempt to boost SEO. Time for readers to revolt?... more »


June 5, 2019 | Against knowledge. It’s a crude, archaic concept, a relic of a bygone age, and it harms our real ways of thinking... more »


June 4, 2019 | It’s like Waze, but for social theory. Cass Sunstein wants government to help citizens navigate their lives. What if they don’t know where to go?... more »


June 3, 2019 | For Adrienne Rich, the great philosopher of secrets, the wish to keep and share them goes to the heart of intimacy, and why we value art... more »


June 1, 2019 | The click-swipe-and-rate economy has devastated journalism, art, literature, and entertainment. Now it's coming for the academy... more »


May 31, 2019 | When are writers polymaths, and when are they merely trespassing superficially into areas of knowledge they haven’t mastered? The lesson of Naomi Wolf... more »


May 30, 2019 | Art in an age of self-exposure. Gone is the withholding of secrets — novelists now put self-consciousness front and center... more »


May 29, 2019 | The idea that thinkers should distinguish private from public views is associated with Leo Strauss and the right. Now it's ascendant on the left... more »


May 28, 2019 | Should writers still make things up? With more fact-based fiction, purely fictional fiction faces a new reality... more »


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