Jan. 1, 2011 | 'A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, published in 1926, remains a remarkable achievement. So why don''t modern linguists understand the book''s function and genius?'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Joyce Carol Oates has long walled off her identity as a writer from her identity as a wife. True to form, her memoir of life as a widow reveals little and obscures much... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Among his celebrated peers, Saul Bellow alone courts lastingness, he alone escapes eclipse. Cynthia Ozick explains Bellow''s enduring appeal'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Montaigne''s self-absorption feels contemporary, but he was no proto-blogger. He aimed for self-discovery, not self-display'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | In the history of adultery, a blurry line distinguishes prostitutes from concubines, mistresses from wives, victims from villains... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Writings about yoga tend to come in one of two styles: cute and folksy or earnest and humorless. What the genre needs is an injection of sincerity and wit... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The Roman historian Livy viewed the glorification of chefs as indicative of a culture in decline. What would he make of the pompous gluttony of modern foodies?... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Elizabeth Bishop wrote slowly and published little - fewer than 100 poems in her lifetime, each one a model of quiet, scrupulous perfection... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | In 1996, Susan Sontag remarked on the decline of film culture: "Perhaps it is not cinema that has ended but only cinephilia." She had it backward... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Samuel Johnson derided slang as "fugitive cant" unworthy of preservation, but the low idiom of thieves and beggars has evolved into a highbrow linguistic tradition... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Stan Kenton''s futuristic jazz and button-down style drew fans for years. He may have dressed like a church elder, but his personal life resembled a junkie''s'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Courage. Chivalry. Brutality. War. Jerusalem contains them all. The city''s past, and less still its present, offers little hope for a peaceful future'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The fact that J.D. Salinger was a peculiar and difficult man is indisputable. Too bad a new biography diminishes his odious eccentricities... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Smaller brains, too much estrogen, penis envy - they''re among the arguments for female inferiority. Such theories are a thing of the past, right? Wrong'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal attracted many admirers - along with a well-earned reputation for self-promotion and even fraud... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Young Irving Kristol was alert to the ambivalences of politics. He grew charming and wry - but simplistic and dogmatic. Therein lies a problem for neoconservatism... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Late in life, Rousseau acknowledged that it was arrogant of him to promote virtues he couldn''t live up to. Sorry, Socrates, the examined life isn''t what it''s cracked up to be'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The ancient world was hardly full of starry-eyed universalists. But even then, categorizing and hating people en masse was a choice, not a necessity... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | In the eyes of many foreign journalists, India is a nation of Gatsbys and Babbitts engaged in a manic quest for status and wealth. Time for a reality check... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Claude Lévi-Strauss is today maligned as a relativist who placed primitive cultures on a pedestal. He long ago anticipated the criticism... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Frank Sinatra remolded the world according to his own desires. At his core, however, he was consumed by pain and anxiety... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Fed up with academe, Herbert London decamped for the think-tank world. His first assignment: Buy heroin in Harlem... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | What happened to academic sociology? The lucidity of Weber and Mills has been replaced by a vapid, turgid, self-referential claptrap... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Alan Lomax built his career upon a single belief: that the world''s poorest places offered the richest cultural treasures'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Dietrich Bonhoeffer was devoted to God and opposed to Hitler. We should be impressed by such courage and faith, but not in awe of it... more »


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