Books & the Arts

Shamir’s Reinvention

On Revelations, he trades the glitz and brashness of his early work for a more ruminative and uncertain sound.

Bijan Stephen

Dana Schutz, After the Whitney Biennial

A recent show of Schutz's work sheds light on a facet of her art that connects Open Casket to the rest of her paintings.

Barry Schwabsky

Between the News and a Prayer

Danez Smith’s poetry bends language to hope for the possibility of a better world.

David B. Hobbs

From the Magazine

The Other Foucault

What led the French theorist of madness and sexuality to politics?

Bruce Robbins

Bertolt Brecht: Poet of Ill Tidings

In his poetry, Brecht captured a world torn apart by war and depression.

Noah Isenberg

In Search of Joni Mitchell

David Yaffe’s new biography doesn’t reach as far into the horizon as Mitchell’s music.

Rachel Syme

History & Politics

Hillary Clinton’s If-Onlys

What Happened tells us more about her than about why she lost the election.

Elizabeth Drew

The Miseducation of Eva Moskowitz

What does it mean for parents and their children to be “consumers” of education?

Megan Erickson

Lincoln: The Great Uncompromiser

He fought to remake the center—not yield to it.

Matthew Karp
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Social Criticism

Polanyi In Our Times

What the Austro-Hungarian economic theorist tells us about the upheavals of our age.
Nikil Saval

During the pitched battle in 2015 between Greece’s ruling Syriza party and the “troika”—the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund—what appeared to be a struggle over grand policy quickly turned into a narrow one over currency. Syriza had surged into office on a pledge to… Continue Reading >



The Satisfactions of St. Vincent

There’s a full band’s worth of talent in that name.

David Hajdu

Lorde Grows Up

In her new album, Lorde captures a generation struggling for independence.

Steph Burt

Mal Waldron’s Ecstatic Minimalism

The jazz pianist’s style was simple, but the themes that gave shape to his music were not.

Adam Shatz


Wideman’s Ghosts

A profound sense of hope and despair haunts John Edgar Wideman’s new work of nonfiction.
Jesse McCarthy

In an address at the Library of Congress in 1964, Ralph Waldo Ellison mused upon his relationship with his father, who had bestowed on his son a somewhat curious literary forename. “Why,” Ellison wondered, “hadn’t he named me after a hero such as Jack Johnson…an educator like Booker T. Washington,… Continue Reading >

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