Books & the Arts

The Unanswered Questions of “True Detective” The Unanswered Questions of “True Detective”

Like a Raymond Chandler detective story, Night Country ultimately wants to turn its audience’s attention away from the mysteries of the dead toward those of the living.

Books & the Arts / Jorge Cotte

What Happened to the Democratic Majority? What Happened to the Democratic Majority?

Today the march of class dealignment feels like an inexorable fact of American political life. But is it?

Books & the Arts / Matthew Karp

The Genius of Nuri Bilge Ceylan The Genius of Nuri Bilge Ceylan

About Dry Grasses is long, dense, elliptical—and brilliant.

Books & the Arts / A. S. Hamrah

From the Magazine

Niels Vodder display wtih furniture designed by Finn Juhl, Cabinetmakers Guild Exhibition, 1949.

How Did Americans Come to Love “Mid-Century Modern”? How Did Americans Come to Love “Mid-Century Modern”?

Solving the riddle of America’s obsession with postwar design and furniture.

Books & the Arts / Marianela D’Aprile

Isabella Hammad’s Novel of Art and Exile in Palestine

Isabella Hammad’s Novel of Art and Exile in Palestine Isabella Hammad’s Novel of Art and Exile in Palestine

Enter the Ghost looks at a group of Palestinians who try to put on a production of Hamlet in the occupied West Bank. 

Books & the Arts / Raja Shehadeh

Nuremberg, 1923.

The First Time the Nazis Tried to Take Power The First Time the Nazis Tried to Take Power

The year that broke Germany.

Books & the Arts / Richard J. Evans

Literary Criticism

Don DeLillo’s Cold Wars

Don DeLillo’s Cold Wars Don DeLillo’s Cold Wars

His 1980s novels take the story of America’s postwar years, usually seen as a triumphal rise to perpetual dominance, and converts it into one about a long and chaotic decline.

Books & the Arts / Siddhartha Deb

Illustration by Lily Qian.

The Enigmatic Science Fiction of Djuna The Enigmatic Science Fiction of Djuna

The radical visions of South Korea’s mononymous, pseudonymous, and officially anonymous sci-fi novelist and film critic.

Books & the Arts / E. Tammy Kim

The Latin School Teacher Who Made Classics Popular

The Latin School Teacher Who Made Classics Popular The Latin School Teacher Who Made Classics Popular

A new biography of Edith Hamilton tells the story of how and why ancient literature became widely read in the United States.

Books & the Arts / Emily Wilson

History & Politics

Liberties: A Magazine in Revolt Against the New

Liberties: A Magazine in Revolt Against the New Liberties: A Magazine in Revolt Against the New

Tolerance, rigor, open-mindedness, and a willingness to countenance doubt and contradiction apparently are all values the magazine champions in theory but tends to ignore in pract…

Books & the Arts / David Klion

Naomi Klein’s Quest to Understand Her Double

Naomi Klein’s Quest to Understand Her Double Naomi Klein’s Quest to Understand Her Double

In her new book, a case of mistaken identity reveals how life online and off has become more and more polarized. 

Books & the Arts / Laura Kipnis

How Did Marxism Become Marxism?

How Did Marxism Become Marxism? How Did Marxism Become Marxism?

A new book examines a set of thinkers and activists who helped transform a set of radical ideas into a political tradition.

Books & the Arts / Peter E. Gordon

Art & Architecture

Raymond Jonson, Casein Tempera No. 1, 1939.

The Curious Case of the Transcendental Painting Group The Curious Case of the Transcendental Painting Group

A touring exhibition of 20th-century painting from the American Southwest is poised to be the next big art world hit. Yet the show forces us to ask: What is fueling the revival?

Books & the Arts / Max Pearl

A draughtsman, circa 1940.

What’s the Matter With Contemporary Architecture? What’s the Matter With Contemporary Architecture?

In his new book, Reinier de Graaf attempts to work out why his profession appears to be at an impasse.

Books & the Arts / Marianela D’Aprile

Frank Bowling, 1962.

“The Subject of Painting Is Paint”: On Frank Bowling “The Subject of Painting Is Paint”: On Frank Bowling

The British artist’s work challenges all notions you might have about the relationship between politics and aesthetics.

Books & the Arts / John-Baptiste Oduor

Film & Television

Steve McQueen and Jonathan Glazer Confront the Holocaust 

Steve McQueen and Jonathan Glazer Confront the Holocaust  Steve McQueen and Jonathan Glazer Confront the Holocaust 

In Zones of Interest and Occupied City, the two filmmakers attempt to depict the ordinary fascism and everyday violence of World War II.

Books & the Arts / J. Hoberman

Joaquin Phoenix in “Napoleon.”

History According to Ridley Scott History According to Ridley Scott

Ultimately what we learn in Napoleon says far more about the director than it does about Napoleon.

Books & the Arts / Mike Duncan

Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry and Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo in “May December.”

The Uncanny Façades of “May December” The Uncanny Façades of “May December”

Todd Haynes’s discomfiting and hypnotic suburban melodrama examines topics the director knows well: sex, taboo, and control.

Books & the Arts / Beatrice Loayza

Latest in Books & the Arts

Artemisia Gentileschi's “Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes” (detail), c. 1623–25.

A Hidden History of Europe’s Pre-Modernist Women Artists A Hidden History of Europe’s Pre-Modernist Women Artists

A recent exhibition documenting four centuries of art from female painters and illustrators provides a new way of looking at an era of art history where women are often left out.

Feb 29, 2024 / Books & the Arts / Barry Schwabsky

Vince Staples in The Vince Staples Show.

The Life and Times of a Niche Rapper The Life and Times of a Niche Rapper

Vince Staples’s self-titled Netflix show is a probing look at celebrity culture, Hollywood, and the pitfalls of being only kind of famous.

Feb 28, 2024 / Books & the Arts / Stephen Kearse

Martin Baron announcing that he is leaving The Boston Globe to become the executive editor of The Washington Post.

What Happened to “The Washington Post” Under Marty Baron? What Happened to “The Washington Post” Under Marty Baron?

In a new book, the former editor tirelessly hymns how he and the newspaper protected their journalists and shored up the foundations of our crumbling republic. But was that the ca…

Feb 27, 2024 / Books & the Arts / Chris Lehmann

The Era of Nicki Minaj

The Era of Nicki Minaj The Era of Nicki Minaj

How the queen of rap revolutionized American music.

Feb 21, 2024 / Books & the Arts / Bijan Stephen

Sara Ahmed and the Joys of Killjoy Feminism

Sara Ahmed and the Joys of Killjoy Feminism Sara Ahmed and the Joys of Killjoy Feminism

To be a feminist killjoy means celebrating a different kind of joy, the joy that comes from doing critical damage to what damages so much of the world.

Feb 21, 2024 / Books & the Arts / Judith Butler

An illustration of interior design, 1951.

The Bad Politics of Good Taste The Bad Politics of Good Taste

Nathalie Olah’s exploration of the ethics of tastefulness dissects the class-bounded nature of most social and cultural mores.

Feb 15, 2024 / Books & the Arts / Lauren Kelly

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