Aug. 22, 2019 | In America, science was shaped by the CIA, the State Department, and the Cold War. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily without intellectual integrity... more »


Aug. 21, 2019 | To understand Whitman’s impact on present-day writing, look no further than a poetic project on delight — delight in cardinals, in log piles, in nicknames... more »


Aug. 20, 2019 | Lincoln was out of his depth politically. Moral hazard in banking isn’t a serious threat. Walter Bagehot had a talent for epic miscalculation... more »


Aug. 19, 2019 | The intellectual coward. Victor Serge knew the type: playing word games, dabbling in fashionable politics, inciting “nothing but a revolt of literary cafes”... more »


Aug. 17, 2019 | The rise and fall of an imperial discipline. Economics once wielded vast political influence, but is the intellectual marketplace now moving on?... more »


Aug. 16, 2019 | Eric Hobsbawm's parents died within a span of two years, from heart attack and lung disease. The teenager found a new family in the Communist Party... more »


Aug. 15, 2019 | Were Beethoven’s works politically charged? The historical context encourages such a view, but the music itself suggests something murkier... more »


Aug. 14, 2019 | Iris Murdoch likened language to a net cast over the mind, constraining thoughts according to the landings of its knots and threads... more »


Aug. 13, 2019 | Let us praise the semicolon, the punctuation that helps us pause and think as it pushes us forward to what's next... more »


Aug. 12, 2019 | Sexism and anthropology. Margaret Mead was fearless in her investigations of culture. But later, who could protect her academic reputation from vicious attacks?... more »


Aug. 10, 2019 | Film’s forgotten man Robert G. Haines appeared, as an extra, in many of the greatest movies ever made. What does his omnipresence mean?... more »


Aug. 9, 2019 | The way we think about derivative translations and pure originals is all wrong. It rests on clichés and lazy approaches... more »


Aug. 8, 2019 | A poetic friendship is born: Wordsworth had just abandoned his daughter; Coleridge then abandoned his own family to spend more time with Wordsworth... more »


Aug. 7, 2019 | The challenge facing any biographer of Frederick Douglass: Work your way behind the self-made public hero of the autobiographies and find the private man... more »


Aug. 6, 2019 | Simone Weil was devoted to alleviating the suffering of others. André Weil, her brother, was devoted to numbers. He became a great mathematician; she became unhinged... more »


Aug. 5, 2019 | Digressions galore, head-scratching logic, and a 26-sentence paragraph. A new biography of Chaucer is “a jargon-ridden exercise in academic colonialism”... more »


Aug. 3, 2019 | How do we spend our time? We overestimate how much we work and exercise, and we're no busier than we were a few decades ago. We just think we are... more »


Aug. 2, 2019 | Moral panics have traditionally been an indulgence of the right. Now they're associated with the woke left. What happened?... more »


Aug. 1, 2019 | Who kicked the snakes out of Ireland? For 500 years, that honor went to a Celtic saint, Columba. Then the cult of Patrick intervened... more »


July 31, 2019 | A new book on the culture of UFO believers shows how the scholarly study of strange things can have strange effects... more »


July 30, 2019 | Bruno Schulz dreamed of writing “The Book” — a singular, ideal work of literature. But magical imaginings can’t withstand the ordeal of their realization... more »


July 29, 2019 | "Are we having fun, or are we in a hell where we’re merely communicating, learning too little too quickly, melting our brains into the abyssal portal?" How we talk online... more »


July 27, 2019 | Is the recent vogue for socialism sufficent to revive the moribund reputation of Nelson Algren, arch-poet of destitution and degradation?... more »


July 26, 2019 | When his fiancée wanted to try mesmerism, Hawthorne panicked: “There would be an intrusion into thy holy of holies — and the intruder would not be thy husband!”... more »


July 25, 2019 | The ways we come to change our minds demonstrate the richness and strangeness of human reason... more »


(Page 1 of 40) next »