Dec. 8, 2014 | After 33 years and 3,000 reviews, Jonathan Yardley, self-described 'ofld-fashioned man in a new-fashioned world,' hangs it up as a book critic... more »


Dec. 6, 2014 | Norman Mailer was a writer for his time, not all time. He lived less as a novelist than as an all-purpose gadfly, taking on every issue of the day... more »


Dec. 5, 2014 | How humanity learned to speak. A language organ? No. A language instinct? No. Our need to cooperate was what paved the way... more »


Dec. 4, 2014 | For an apostle of alienation, Herbert Marcuse sure was a media star. To think his unsettling blend of Hegel, Marx, and Freud ended up in Playboy... more »


Dec. 3, 2014 | Irving Kristol: neo-Marxist, neo-Trotskyite, neo-socialist, neo-liberal, neo-conservative, and, sort of neo-religious. His wife explains... more »


Dec. 2, 2014 | Poetry and privilege. Poets inhabit a culture of exclusivity, driven by MFA programs and the AWP conference. What is it doing to art?... more »


Dec. 1, 2014 | If atheism grew out of Judeo-Christian tradition, what does atheism mean in a Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist context?... more »


Nov. 29, 2014 | Hell has changed a lot over the years, from a place of stillness to one of fiery torment to gaudy satire. It all depends on what sells... more »


Nov. 28, 2014 | The woman who shot Andy Warhol. A foul-mouthed lesbian who hated men, Valerie Solanas had a talent for self-destruction... more »


Nov. 27, 2014 | Noah Berlatsky spent the past two years working on a book about William Marston, creator of Wonder Woman. Now a soul-crushing reality check: Jill Lepore beat him to it... more »


Nov. 26, 2014 | One billion Facebook users, 400 million tweets per day. The ethos of our time: I want not to be alone. Are social media making people less interested in God?... more »


Nov. 25, 2014 | ?No bad big idea achieves its full cultural potential without first being sacralized by Wired magazine,' writes Jacob Silverman. Crowdsourcing is one such idea... more »


Nov. 24, 2014 | Matthew Arnold's culture war--and ours. The mutton-chopped prophet of high culture lost his battle with the forces of anarchy. It's our loss, too... more »


Nov. 22, 2014 | We have shifted our focus from the meaning of ideas to the means by which they?re produced, says Arthur Krystal. Science envy is ruining the humanities... more »


Nov. 21, 2014 | The invention of clumsiness. With the advent of photography, artists grew to differ in their depictions of the ungainliness of the human form... more »


Nov. 20, 2014 | Rigid morality, hypersensitivity, no taste for bad taste: The art world is now among the more self-policing areas of contemporary culture... more »


Nov. 19, 2014 | Are we ourselves, or are we our souls? From Locke onward, philosophers have debated whether memory or morality shapes our identities... more »


Nov. 18, 2014 | Few things are as melancholy, as bittersweet, as freighted with mortality as an inscription in an old book no longer owned by the dedicatee... more »


Nov. 17, 2014 | Any biographer of Philip Larkin faces a hard fact: He had a quiet life. Childhood, school, women, work as a librarian. What's left is the poetry... more »


Nov. 15, 2014 | Menacing figures stalk the halls of academe. Stooped, selfish, greedy: The septuagenarian professor is hurting higher education... more »


Nov. 14, 2014 | The Romantics feared the cold rationality of scientists ? what would become of wonder? Their fears were misplaced... more »


Nov. 13, 2014 | Why is reason important? Leon Wieseltier explains: ?We need not be a nation of intellectuals, but we must not be a nation of idiots?... more »


Nov. 12, 2014 | Why read new novels? Because they arrive unencumbered by received opinions. And because a special pleasure is derived from adjusting ourselves to what's new... more »


Nov. 11, 2014 | Hearing criticisms of your own beliefs is essential to form a considered opinion. The right to be offended is a vital right ? and it's under threat... more »


Nov. 10, 2014 | Mostly young, mostly Americanist, and mostly at Harvard: Historians of capitalism provide a case study in how to shift an intellectual debate... more »


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