Photographs are supposed to be unbiased recognitions of
reality, but they're really self-portraits of the photographer. The
Ongoing Movement, a blend of biography and analysis, examines what
happens when photographers create deliberately untruthful pictures.
Four editors of October magazine trace the history of
contemporary art. Though Art Since
1900 seeks to be comprehensive, its writers leave out entire movements and impose moralistic
judgments on the artists and art they profile.
Pop culture does more than validate the claim that torture could help foil bombs seconds before detonation. In shows like 24, where scenes of sensory deprivation are mixed with family melodrama, torture is so routine that it seems one more plot device to create intimacy in characters. The reality is that torture isolates its victims from any sense of intimacy.
Defenders of torture dwell not only in the White House and Pentagon,
but in the halls of academia. When prominent law professors and
academics cite the fantastic "ticking-bomb theory," they not only
spread misinformation and foster a perpetual state of fear, but they
use their credentials to legitimize a culture of torture.
Perry Anderson's Spectrum journeys through the abstract worlds
of conservative and liberal intellectual thought, and leaves in its
trail insights on the substance and style of ideas.
American readers have long felt guilty about loving Lolita.
As Vladimir Nabokov's nymphet heroine turns 50, Lila Azam Zanganeh
traces the impact of a novel that has become both an icon and a
Amartya Sen's latest collection of essays explores the rich flow of
various peoples in and out of India and how they shaped the politics
and spirituality of the nation today.
The scandals suffocating the Bush Administration seem less like Nixon
and Watergate and more like Louis XV and pre-Revolutionary France. They
are harbingers of a potent cultural event that may jolt the public out
Jill Lepore's New York Burning paints a realistic portrait of a
purported slave rebellion in 1741 and the hysteria that followed, a
harrowing lesson of how abusers of power become haunted by the
nightmare of retribution.
Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost plumbs the
mysteries of losing oneself and finding oneself in the realm of the