Jan. 1, 2011 | In January, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stepped down as president of Brazil. By any measure, says Perry Anderson, Lula is the most successful politician of his time... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Introducing the Norton Anthology of Paperwork: Tissue-thin pages of boilerplate, letterhead, fill-in-the-blank forms, and an annotated history of that most poetic instruction, "last name, first"... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The idea of the "other" - foreign, menacing - is catnip for scholars of violence, says Russell Jacoby. He takes another view: Wars more often pit brother against brother... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'One of David Foster Wallace''s final acts was to leave the manuscript pages of a novel where his wife would find them. The Pale King, like Wallace''s life, feels unfinished, unresolved'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | What has the iPod wrought? Earbudded into isolation, merrily ensconced in our own expertly curated soundtrack, who any longer has a serendipitous interaction? The future belongs to solipsism... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The Western intervention in Libya - justified in moral terms - will be remembered as a war conceived by liberal intellectuals, and cheered on by liberal intellectuals... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The Japanese earthquake reveals once again our inability to predict events. Or our ability to avoid thinking about predictable events. John Brockman of Edge investigates... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | While you await the return of prosperity, consider a future in which the rules of capitalism are undermined by a parade of disasters. How worried should you be? ... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Some regard earthquakes as acts of God, others as acts of nature. Now we have new culprits: greedy corporations, stupid politicians. Why the need to assign blame for random disasters?... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | '"Whoever says he''s 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal." That sentiment spoke to Czeslaw Milosz, but it barely resonates in our time'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Iâ??m dying, Christopher Hitchens reports. Dying - not dead, and, one hopes, not for a long time. Still, the specter of a world without Hitchens floats before us... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | In his more than 100 books, H.G. Wells anticipated television, atom bombs, and the Internet. Impressive - even more so because he also found time to bed most of literary London... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Some cultures endorse cannibalism, decapitation, infanticide. Morality, says Jesse Prinz, is relative. But objectivists shouldn''t despair: Self-destructive values rarely last'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Thoreau, Keats, Blake, and Shelley grasped the value of idleness, but is there any condition more out of sync with the goal-driven ethos of our age?... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Happiness is not a right, it''s a duty: We owe it to ourselves. But the burden of obligatory well-being has transformed the pursuit into a source of unhappiness'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Listen, my children, and you shall hear of a much-derided poem about Paul Revere. Hardly a man is alive who thinks fondly of that poem''s scribe. But Jill Lepore - ah, she knows Longfellow is no bore'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'The voice of Cicero rings in Martha Nussbaum''s ear. Love of learning has made her selfish, he warns, demanding that she forsake her self-indulgent life as a scholar'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Thirty years and four psychoanalysts later, Stephen Metcalf remains a mystery to himself. He can, however, lay claim to a curious talent: Putting shrinks to sleep... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'It''s come to this: live sex acts in the classroom. So much for the idea of universities as bastions of intellectual authority. Joseph Epstein offers a eulogy'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | How best to elicit servility from an intellectual? Money helps, but nothing seduces like proximity to celebrity and power. Thus the allure of tyrants like Qaddafi... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'The openness of Roland Barthes''s intellectual style derived from the precision of his work habits. Details matter, or, as Barthes put it: "Insignificance is the locus of true significance"'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | There are many reasons for the decline of bookstores, but just one large question: If they disappear, will people stop reading? Nicole Krauss has an answer... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | In 1976 Sigrid Nunez moved in with her boyfriend, David Rieff, and his mother, Susan Sontag, who had some advice for the young couple: Stick to oral sex... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Paul Simon once sang, "Mama don''t take my Kodachrome away." Alas, it''s happened. Francis Fukuyama on the death of chemical, film photography and the rise of mindless pointers and clickers'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Meghan O''Rourke wants to tell the story of her mother''s death - to make sense of what happened, and perhaps change the ending'... more »


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