Books & the Arts

Mati Diop’s ‘Atlantics’ Is a Startling Study of Power

As the contemporary film landscape heralds the coming of a class war, Diop’s beautiful movie reckons with capital and labor in groundbreaking fashion.

Namwali Serpell

How Should We Remember the Puritans?

In his new book, Daniel Rodgers not only offers a close reading of Puritan history but also seeks to rescue their early critique of market economy.

Andrew Delbanco

Ted Chiang’s Sci-Fi Goes Beyond the Promise of Technology

In his short story collection Exhalation, he builds social worlds where every character and object is deeply intertwined in history and in future possibility.

Stephen Kearse

From the Magazine

Jill Lepore’s Liberal Gospel

Against a “postmodernism” that she claims suffuses left-wing and right-wing politics, the prolific historian and New Yorker staff writer makes her case for a liberal patriotism and the reasonableness of the center.

Daniel Immerwahr

Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Narratives of Freedom

History has always been a weapon in the hands of Ta-Nehisi Coates. Now, in his debut novel, the social critic and essayist sets out to recover those struggles for emancipation that have been lost to the past.

Elias Rodriques

Who Gets to Be Color-Blind?

Thomas Chatterton Williams argues in his new book that race is something individuals can unlearn. But no matter how socially constructed racial identity may be, our lived experience of it is anything but fictitious.

Ismail Muhammad

History & Politics

The Promise of Pan-Africanism

As much as it was an organized movement, Pan-Africanism was an ideal, culture, and lived experience that helped galvanize generations into action.

Adom Getachew

Whose Side Is Clarence Thomas On?

A new book argues that the Supreme Court justice’s early embrace of black nationalism is central to understanding his politics and jurisprudence. But perhaps far better guides are the platforms and talking points of the Republican Party.

Randall Kennedy

Did the New Deal Need FDR?

His political evolution points to a different locus of power than the one liberals tend to invoke when discussing the era’s history.

Kim Phillips-Fein

Literary Criticism

Zadie Smith’s Turn to Short Fiction

In her first short story collection, the novelist and essayist offers us both cautionary tales and experimental riffs.

Rumaan Alam

Jonathan Safran Foer and the Limits of Liberal Climate Politics

Addressing climate change will take a whole lot more than changing our diets.

Kate Aronoff

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
Ad Policy

American Politics

The Vexed Meaning of Equality in Gilded Age America

The agrarian, feminist, and labor movements of the 19th century elevated equality to a cardinal principle, but all three  fell short when it came to transcending the divide of race.  
Eric Foner

[dropcap]“[/dropcap][dropcap]A[/dropcap]ll men are created equal.” Today, it is difficult to appreciate the radicalism of Thomas Jefferson’s almost matter-of-fact pronouncement in the Declaration of Independence. The 18th century was a world of inequality, grounded in deeply rooted hierarchies of class, race, gender, and religion. The Declaration of Independence tied the new… Continue Reading >

Music

Vampire Weekend Grows Up

Over a decade since its debut, the band that soundtracked the Great Recession returns with one of its most ambitious albums. 

Bijan Stephen

Quelle Chris Upends How We Talk About Guns

The Detroit rapper’s new album offers a panorama of gun culture that brims with disarming nuance and clarity.

Stephen Kearse

This Is How You Make an Electronic Masterpiece

Helado Negro’s new album of deeply intimate electronic music is simply stunning.

Julyssa Lopez

Biography

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 >

Poems

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