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In the annals of American politics Winning Modern Wars is an
unusual book.

In January 1948 Dutton brought out the third novel of a promising young
writer named Gore Vidal. The publishing house was nervous.

On the page, Patricia Highsmith could inspire a law-abiding citizen to
become a willing accomplice to murder, at least within the realm of the
imagination.

Who can recall the late Stokely Carmichael's first name and not
associate it with the two most incendiary words of the 1960s, Black
Power?

Clouds curdle round it, crack open, let it through.
Radiance shades by cloudshapes; fat fruit
of incandescence; sphere of peeled silver. I wonder

Psalm after psalm into a dead sea of silence: they invite
their own enormous, endangered day. Scalded, lord,
by sunlight and the lizards watching, licking dust,

The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize of $25,000, awarded annually for the
most outstanding book of poems published in the United States by an
American, is administered mutually by the Academy of

After two elegantly written, consistently engaging, critically praised,
ambitious if not entirely satisfying novels, the prodigiously gifted
Colson Whitehead has given the reading public every

Nations, like individuals, sustain trauma, mourn and recover. And like
individuals they survive by making sense of what has befallen them, by
constructing a narrative of loss and redemption.

This essay--Edward W. Said's first piece for The Nation from the magazine's May 30, 1966, issue--is a special selection from The Nation Digital Archive. If you want to read everything The Nation has ever published by Said, click here for information on how to acquire individual access to the Archive--an electronic database of every Nation article since 1865.

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