Feb. 18, 2020 | Comedy and social theory make an awkward pair. If Andrea Long Chu’s Females is any guide, the problem is that punchlines wear off quickly... more »


Feb. 17, 2020 | Our age is full of decadent art that risks little. But safe aesthetic choices come with grave consequences for society at large... more »


Feb. 15, 2020 | The Cold War wasn’t entirely a clash of opposites. In terms of cultural politics, it was obscured by confusion, equivocation, deceit... more »


Feb. 14, 2020 | Drugs and the golden age of glossy magazines. “Plane highs were usually the best,” says one former editor, “especially in first class”... more »


Feb. 13, 2020 | Infinite jerk. David Foster Wallace was needy, petulant, crude, and creepy. So what was it like to date him?... more »


Feb. 12, 2020 | The woman who gave birth to rabbits. Mary Toft was a fabulist, but her tale reveals much about gender in the 18th century... more »


Feb. 11, 2020 | Ruins are ripe for allegory. They remind us that human achievement is always marked by the inevitability of a fall... more »


Feb. 10, 2020 | Elizabeth Bishop’s life was not long, but she outlived many of her troubled friends. Her suffering was outweighed by her stamina... more »


Feb. 8, 2020 | Employment in newspaper newsrooms decreased by 60 percent from 1990 to 2016. Does the industry deserve a government bailout?... more »


Feb. 7, 2020 | AI’s hollow victory. Computers may beat humans at chess, Go, and Jeopardy. Unlike us, though, they can’t enjoy their success... more »


Feb. 6, 2020 | “Boats, like books, are a means of transport. They allow us to travel and discover worlds whose existence we hadn’t suspected”... more »


Feb. 5, 2020 | Once exhilarated by “the loose embrace of feminism,” Vivian Gornick has turned her back on today’s inclusive feminine solidarity... more »


Feb. 4, 2020 | After taking the London arts scene by storm, John Berger moved to a mountain village and discovered a new joy: shoveling manure... more »


Feb. 3, 2020 | What's the meaning of a hotel? Henry James regarded it above all as a place of public performance — where society came to see and be seen... more »


Feb. 1, 2020 | The science of crying wolf. Our bias for negativity means we're conditioned to see the worst in everything. So what?... more »


Jan. 31, 2020 | Protestantism’s progress. Did liberalism stem from the illiberal upheavals of the English Reformation?... more »


Jan. 30, 2020 | Why are defenses of liberalism so often sniveling and insincere? Because the authors are too concerned with being seen as right... more »


Jan. 29, 2020 | Imagine a time when people believed that what happened in the concert hall and the opera house was inseparable from the destiny of the American people... more »


Jan. 28, 2020 | Ross Douthat is a champion of defeated ideas. The result is a grim equanimity that makes him a sharp, interesting writer... more »


Jan. 27, 2020 | In 1973, David Rosenhan published one of the century’s most influential social-science papers. Was it a fabrication?... more »


Jan. 25, 2020 | “I’ve got a writer’s block as big as the Ritz and as stubborn as a grease stain on a gabardine suit,” admitted Ralph Ellison. It was “like a bad case of constipation”... more »


Jan. 24, 2020 | Getting rid of the king was easy for Oliver Cromwell. Harder was what followed: governing as a dangerously ill-defined “Lord Protector”... more »


Jan. 23, 2020 | “My work is original not only in fact but in spiritual fiber.” Frank Lloyd Wright may have been a genius, but his character was appalling... more »


Jan. 22, 2020 | "Robert Lowell’s poems are at their most unsettling when they disclose his own moral recklessness, offering only themselves — the fact of art — as recompense"... more »


Jan. 21, 2020 | Wendell Berry is probably the best-known and most influential antimodernist alive. His prose is splendid. His political strategy is disastrous... more »


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