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Walter Kempowski on the set of A Standalone Chapter

For the German novelist Walter Kempowski, there was no single unifying experience of World War II.

Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne in Gone Girl

The flesh-eating creature of Gone Girl is a rampaging composite of dollar signs.

Former Chief Justice Earl Warren on the eve of his eightieth birthday, in 1971

How did “one person, one vote” become the rule for statehouses across the country?

Sleep No More at the American Repertory Theater, 2009

Immersive theater has no real style—except to fetishize its look.

President Macky Sall of Senegal and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang last February

How Africa and China’s own borderlands became the center of Beijing’s new empire.

Duncan Wu (left) and Carolyn Forché

By privileging historical catastrophe, a new poetry anthology narrows the definition of art.

Demonstrators, People’s Climate March on September 21, 2014, New York City

Choreographed for maximum appeal, pop culture likes to say yes. History is made by those who say no.

A former public school teacher and union organizer picks his favorites.

A Roman theater in Bosra, once the capital of the Roman province of Arabia, 2009

How the destruction of architectural treasures became a weapon in Syria’s ongoing civil war.

A still from Infiltrators (2012), by Khaled Jarrar

How much of the pressure of reality can a work of art bear before it ceases to be art?

Blogs

“How can I have seemed so settled in my opinions? So smug in my attitudes?”

September 24, 2014

In his new book, John Dean finally offers definitive answers to the questions “What did he know, and when did he know it?”
 

August 14, 2014

The quagmire of the Vietnam War was built on a “queasy foundation of fact and myth.”

July 31, 2014

"About nothing does the mob forget so quickly as about war."

July 28, 2014

Reflections on the meaning of the French Revolution in the shadow of Adolf Hitler.

July 14, 2014

“Have you a city that smells worse than Akron?”

July 11, 2014

The Nation’s predictive capacities were pretty mixed.

June 28, 2014

The first modern war created the modern Nation.

June 16, 2014

There is no avoiding the inherently alienating consequences of trying to earn a living through the production of words.

May 30, 2014

The piece drew hard questions because of the choice of the (allegedly biased) reviewer.

May 28, 2014