Jan. 1, 2011 | Human rights as a lovely end of Western history is a late 20th century fancy used to justify ruinous wars of intervention. It is mere utopian dreaming... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Voltaire possessed an endless appetite for putting himself in harm''s way: duels, insults to nobility. He always squeaked by'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | I have no tendency to be a saint, John Henry Newman said, in words that were part of his own self-outing... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Both FDR and Eleanor embraced a large family of intimate companions and lovers which they both accepted. "It was part of their generous spirit"... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Picture the academy: If you''re thinking plushy professors, jargon-laden research, and debt-strapped students poised for a career in rag picking, think again'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | What makes a cultural critic great? Expertise, fine taste, firm judgment, aesthetic leadership - whatever it is, the superb, ruthless, and biting Terry Castle has it... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Mao Zedong is the father of the Chinese nation - disgraced, discredited, and irreplaceable. In the West, a non-ideological view of Mao has rarely been available... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The term "conscious" was introduced in 1678; within 50 years it had acquired at least five definitions. The ambiguity has not abated... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Nelson Mandela is no saint. His life has combined greatness with pettiness, compassion with coldness, altruism with selfishness... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Known to his Arab comrades as Prince Dynamite, T.E. Lawrence understood that explosives are both a weapon and a political statement... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Susan Sontag called him "our Sartre." For Bill Buckley he was a "bisexualist, a poverty cultist, an anarchist." So many reactions to Paul Goodman... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | By the time Crazy Horse, "strange man of the Oglalas," died, he was the most divisive figure in the tribes of the Great Sioux War of 1876-77... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'W.H. Auden: "it''s rather a privilege/amid the affluent traffic/to serve this unpopular art." Monica Jones chose to serve the art of Philip Larkin'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'The Holocaust''s power to shock: from Babi-Yar, where SS units machine-gunned 33,000 Jews in two days and threw them in a ravine, down to postwar atrocities'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The romance of the "foreign film" began just after the war for Americans with Open City. The affair lasted for twenty years, well into the 1960s... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The romance of the "foreign film" began just after the war for Americans with Open City. The affair lasted for twenty years, well into the 1960s... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Richard Wagner''s erotic interest was not lurid, voyeuristic, or morbid, but human: alert to desire, joy, longing, torment, and despair'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'David Foster Wallace''s undergrad thesis is a virtuoso performance. Less certain is whether it tells us anything we need to know about his fiction'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'With their drollery, mordancy, heart pains, soul talk, and metaphysical vaudeville - the whole human mess - Saul Bellow''s letters are a Saul Bellow novel'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Martha Nussbaum would have us think of sexual orientation in the same way that most of us think of religion. The analogy works - to a degree... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'The long battle waged by Karol Wojtyla against Poland''s communists and their Moscow masters was a struggle over the survival of communism itself'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'A city compounds many worlds in one place. Rebecca Solnit''s poetic atlas of San Francisco isn''t a guide, so much as it''s a provocation...'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | H.L. Mencken despised the "booboisie," yet delighted in the gross, glittering, dynamic, grotesque, stupendous drama of American life...... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Consciousness used to be the crazy aunt in psychology''s attic, up there squeaking the floorboards and troubling our dreams of science'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The revolution will not be Tweeted. Look about the military-Twitter complex: there is little to support claims for vast political power of social media... more »


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