Sept. 13, 2019 | From the “Golden Age” of TV to “Peak TV,” two constants remain: an escape from reality and the quest for commerce... more »


Sept. 12, 2019 | During his attenuated lifetime, George Gershwin was the most modern guy around; 82 years later — guess what — he still is... more »


Sept. 11, 2019 | Malcolm Gladwell’s critics often accuse him of oversimplification. But he's really a master of obfuscation, imposing complexity on everyday life... more »


Sept. 10, 2019 | Susan Sontag urged us to avoid the “crude trap” of linking a woman’s appearance to her intellect. An irony, then, that her biographer falls into it... more »


Sept. 9, 2019 | George Orwell was a democratic socialist all his life. So why are 1984 and Animal Farm commonly read as indictments of socialism?... more »


Sept. 7, 2019 | “Free time” has become “recovery time,” to get ready to go back to work. True idleness is a more radical and complex endeavor... more »


Sept. 6, 2019 | Lucian Freud, pickup artist. So relentless was his pursuit of women — and their pursuit of him — that it's a marvel he found time to paint... more »


Sept. 5, 2019 | Oliver Sacks was the most story-driven clinical writer of the age. He also had a curious relationship with facts. “I don’t tell lies, though I may invent the truth”... more »


Sept. 4, 2019 | Empathy is a vague beat on which to build a writing career, but that's what Leslie Jamison did. Has she now lost faith in the ideals on which she staked her brand?... more »


Sept. 3, 2019 | Christianity's role in shaping the Western mind is a story of seemingly inconsequential events signaling grander things to come... more »


Sept. 2, 2019 | Vasily Grossman, chronicler of Soviet crimes, was also a master of psychological complexity and sensory detail... more »


Aug. 31, 2019 | What do we get from minor literary characters like Hamlet’s Queen Gertrude or Monsieur Bovary? A way to see the world together... more »


Aug. 30, 2019 | Thomas Chatterton Williams has a knack for eluding pigeonholes, blurring boundaries, and impaling pieties about race. Is he nimble, naïve, or foolish?... more »


Aug. 29, 2019 | Klaus Fuchs was a brilliant, high-minded nuclear physicist. He was also history’s most dangerous spy... more »


Aug. 28, 2019 | When should novelists hang it up? Consider the increasingly wobbly, bloated work of Salman Rushdie, a writer in free fall... more »


Aug. 27, 2019 | "When a book sits next to the internet, its authority as the final word on anything is automatically undermined." But you can't pop a cyst with a phone... more »


Aug. 26, 2019 | Has Anthony Kronman written the most undiplomatic attack on diversity in the academy ever produced by a senior university official?... more »


Aug. 24, 2019 | Anarchism has been among the most daring, imaginative political currents of the modern age. Terry Eagleton explains... more »


Aug. 23, 2019 | In investigating its subject, a book invokes Freud, Heidegger, geography, and the nature of home. The matter at hand? Pigeons ... more »


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 »


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