Jan. 1, 2011 | John Mitchell, Jr., the "Fighting Negro Editor," would "walk into the jaws of death to serve his race." A man of courage, passion, talent, and triumph in the face of racial hatred... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Real friendship involves risk. If a computer screen you ultimately control comes between you and your "friend," then it was not authentic friendship in the first place... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Reading Lolita at twelve: I saw the world through wiser eyes. What girl had that "soul-shattering, insidious charm" that made the antennae of certain adult males tremble?... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | 'In Easy A, adolescent boys pay the lovely heroine for the privilege of saying that they slept with her. For our age - or any age - it''s the double standard writ large'... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Many books offer more wisdom and self-criticism than Gone with the Wind, or give us less fantasy and better realism. Still, such tattered volumes remind us of the readers we once were... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | When he began Dilbert, Scott Adams mocked the very firm he worked for. "If you knew my backstory, you could sense my personal danger in every strip." Yes, he got fired... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Taxidermy, the chemistry of the morgue, is a cult obsession with contemporary artists, observes Simon Schama. Yet how much in this idea is really new?... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | The collapse of the stellar universe will occur - like creation - in grandiose splendor, No, Blaise Pascal did not say this. Werner Herzog explains... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Real ants offer no lessons in human moral conduct, says Deborah Gordon. Brave soldiers, dutiful factory workers: this is the stuff of our fictions, not insect behavior... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Somerset Maugham found it odd that Henry James ignored the most important fact of his day, the rise of the U.S. as world power, for the tittle-tattle of European drawing-rooms. Therein lies a lesson... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | The long history of American â??declinismâ? is rooted more in the collective psyche of our chattering classes than in any sober political and economic analysis... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Ought the exploits of Christopher Columbus be the occasion to take a day off work? He had a lot of bad attiudes by our standards. But history is complicated, as William Connell explains... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Dickens in Lagos, Maugham in Rangoon, Hardy in Mombasa, Dreiser in Bombay. Great novels of the past are not past at all in cities of the Third World. George Packer explains... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | For Tolstoy, love is a great existential drama. To be mean and generous, depraved and decent, loving and murderous, not by turns but all at once - that is the true burden of our existence... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Where, pray, is a sense of honor in the academic and collegial life of the university today? After all, if there can be honor even among thieves, you''d expect'... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | For Ben Franklin, happiness meant overcoming the idea that the world, or other people, or God, or the state owes us a living. Owes us, in fact, anything at all... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Sustainability, uniting vaunting political ambition and comic burlesque, has the logic of a stampede. We must run for fear of some rumored, invisible threat. The real threat is the stampede itself... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Scientists offer evolutionary explanations of why we savor art and story-telling, but science will never give us the intense emotional experience we get from art. Brian Boyd explains... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | The Keynesian worldview regards capitalism as in need of being saved from itself by big government. But the debt crisis in Europe and the U.S. demonstrates that big government is the problem... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | The American appetite for all things Indian has grown over the years. There is no parallel interest in the culture of Pakistan. A new collection of writing begins to show why... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | War in the desert, like war at sea, takes place over a vast, often inhospitable landscape, where flanks can be turned indefinitely; intelligence and agility are essential. T.E. Lawrence knew this... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Financing the welfare state depends critically on population increase. That a growing nation is a kind of Ponzi scheme was a fine idea when people still thought the Baby Boom would go on forever... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | Our bankers are pretty lousy, but our writers are hardly better. So we submerge ourselves in B-class fiction: "smart," middle-brow, fashionable, contrived, writer workshop, English-major fiction... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Since Stephen Hawking is the smartest man on earth and "the most revered scientist since Einstein," when he tells us what it is to know the mind of God, he just can''t be wrong. Right?'... more »

Jan. 1, 2011 | The overcontrolling parent. Playmates summoned via phone or text. Drop-off and pick-up times coordinated. Moms and dads pressed into service as chaperones or chauffeurs or coaches... more »

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