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Nation Topics - Books and the Arts

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Martin Donovan as Matthew and Adrienne Shelly as Maria in Trust

The Unbelievable Truth, Trust, The Book of Life, The Girl from Monday and Meanwhile

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

The unflinching fiction of Ludmilla Petrushevskaya.

Mandans gathering buffalo berries, 1908. Photograph by Edward S. Curtis

Elizabeth Fenn, the Mandans and a renaissance in historical writing.

Barbara Stanwyck in The Bitter Tea of General Yen

The life and unvarnished style of Barbara Stanwyck.

Act of Killing

The brilliant Oscar-nominated film The Act of Killing depicts the horrifying mass murder in Indonesia in the 1960s—but the US was no mere observer. 

Mia Farrow and Woody Allen

The tangled web of affairs, accusations and legal battles that defined Woody Allen and Mia Farrow’s relationship unfolded over three decades. 

Israeli soldier and tank

The story of contemporary Israel as written by Max Blumenthal is not easy to read.

Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1875), by James McNeill Whistler

Ambitious beneath his pose of indolence, James McNeill Whistler was the most contradictory of artists.

The former American Folk Art building

MoMA’s new expansion plans represent avant-gardism at its most deracinated.

Blogs

In honor of Labor Day, here’s a stab at the impossible task of naming the best songs ever written about working people.

August 29, 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

Eric on this week's concerts and Reed on the media’s coverage of climate change. 

July 21, 2014

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

July 14, 2014

In fact, says theater director Anne Bogart, stories can be “fascistic.”

July 14, 2014

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

July 11, 2014

These ten songs, taken together, help distill the American experience and make clear both what’s great about the US and what still needs critical attention.

July 2, 2014

On the 25th anniversity of Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing," America needs to ask itself some hard questions.

June 30, 2014