Books & the Arts

Grace Paley’s Crowded World

In her life, as in her writing, the boundaries between the personal and the political were remarkably porous.

Maggie Doherty

Percival Everett’s Abstract Art

His new novel, So Much Blue, is a meditation on seeing and abstraction, and it might be key for recognizing a new form of literary social critique.

Paul Devlin

The Mysticism of Louis Kahn

After walking through the buildings he designed, it is impossible to imagine a world without them.

Paul Goldberger

From the Magazine

E.P. Thompson’s Search for a New Popular Front

Despite a lifetime of political disappointments, the historian never gave up on the prospects of a broad left-wing social movement.

Stefan Collini

What Caused the Russian Revolution?

How historians narrate 1917 tells us as much about their politics as it does about what we can learn from the revolution’s failures.

Sophie Pinkham

J.M. Coetzee’s Essential Protestantism

In his last two novels, Coetzee has tried to recover the scandal and strangeness of early Christianity.

Adam Kirsch
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History & Politics

Socialism’s Return

After more than a half-century in the wilderness, the socialist left reemerges in America.

Patrick Iber

The Two Women’s Movements

Feminism has been on the march since the 1970s, but so has the conservative backlash.

Kim Phillips-Fein

Le Pen’s Long Shadow

If you want to understand the wave of right-wing populism erupting in Europe and the United States, France is a good place to start.

David A. Bell


Omens of Disaster

Ali Smith’s new novel examines the ecological and political disintegration at the center of our world.
Namara Smith

The first curveball in Ali Smith’s new novel is its title. When you pick up a book called Autumn, you know to some extent what you’re going to get: ripening apples, russet leaves, a mood of serene melancholy darkened by the knowledge of approaching winter but warmed by the memory… Continue Reading >


Picabia’s Monsters

Even at his most iconoclastic, the French avant-gardist sought to paint life.
Barry Schwabsky

Who, really, was Francis Picabia? What kind of man painted the strange and often perverse works, currently on view at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, that are so perfectly encapsulated in the exhibition’s title: “Our Heads Are Round So Our Thoughts Can Change Direction”? What sustained his willful inconsistency… Continue Reading >


Adapting ‘Angels in America’

Sometimes, adaptation is a form of redundancy. This new opera, based on Tony Kushner’s 1992 play, is something stirring in its own way and unexpectedly timely.

David Hajdu

‘Everybody’ Has Something to Say About Logic

Logic is an adept lyricist known for speedy, tongue-twisting flows, and yet much of the public narrative about the rapper fixates on the way he looks.

Marcus J. Moore

MUNA’s Total Honesty

The LA pop trio’s greatest strength is its willingness to name the enemy.

Laura Snapes


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