Books & the Arts

Jonathan Franzen’s God

A multigenerational saga about a Midwestern family, Crossroads is like most of Franzen novels—with one exception: Every plotline leads to the big guy himself.

Rumaan Alam

“Gossip Girl” and the Demented Culture of Fame

HBO’s reboot of the teen drama explores how the rich and famous make their lives consumable for the rest of us.

Erin Schwartz

The Mysteries of the Childhood Memoir

Richard Wollheim’s Germs is a brilliant and curious example of a genre dedicated to unraveling the riddles of a time we have a hard time remembering.

John Banville

From the Magazine

Do We Need to Work?

Do We Need to Work?

In Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots, anthropologist James Suzman asks whether we might learn to live like our ancestors did—that is, to value free time over money.

Aaron Benanav
The Expansive Feminism of Jacqueline Rose

The Expansive Feminism of Jacqueline Rose

Rose’s latest book, On Violence and On Violence Against Women, is a rigorous and capacious study of contemporary gender politics and solidarity.

Cora Currier
In the Shadow of 9/11

In the Shadow of 9/11

Did the War on Terror put our democracy at risk—or reveal its flaws?

Samuel Moyn

Literary Criticism

Brandon Taylor’s Potlucks and Parties

Brandon Taylor’s Potlucks and Parties

In his new collection of short stories, the Booker-Prize nominated novelist explores the desires and discontents of people living in small university towns. 

Jennifer Wilson
Diane Johnson’s Homecoming

Diane Johnson’s Homecoming

In her new novel, the novelist returns to the United States to offer a self-conscious story of American fragmentation.

Becca Rothfeld
Grace Cho’s Memoir of Food and Empire

Grace Cho’s Memoir of Food and Empire

Intertwining a personal story of Korean food ways and a family history caught in the midst of violence, Tastes Like War tests the limits, and shows the power, of memoir.

E. Tammy Kim

B&A Newsletter

Best of Books & the Arts

Mondays. A bi-weekly collection of the best of The Nation’s Books & the Arts section.


By signing up, you confirm that you are over the age of 16 and agree to receive occasional promotional offers for programs that support The Nation’s journalism. You may unsubscribe or adjust your preferences at any time. You can read our Privacy Policy here.

History & Politics

Russia’s War Against the Cold

Russia’s War Against the Cold

A new history considers how the struggle with Siberia’s permafrost redefined the country.

Jennifer Wilson
David Graeber and David Wengrow’s Anarchist History of Humanity

David Graeber and David Wengrow’s Anarchist History of Humanity

In The Dawn of Everything, Graeber and Wengrow offer a sweeping and ambitious exploration of life without the state.

Daniel Immerwahr
The Politics of Viruses

The Politics of Viruses

Carl Zimmer and what popular science writing often misses.

Danielle Carr

Art

Someone Else’s Discomfort: On Gregg Bordowitz

Someone Else’s Discomfort: On Gregg Bordowitz

How the writer, artist, and activist exposes what is fraught in masculinity.
Hua Hsu

When I was growing up, I rarely thought about masculinity, which is one of the main privileges it affords. Back then, in the 1980s and ’90s, so long as you weren’t bad in some crass, pawing, physically aggressive way, you could consider yourself good. But the gradient of masculine identities… Continue Reading >

Ad Policy

Television and Films

White Lotus.

Who’s to Blame in “The White Lotus”?

In the weeks since the release of Mike White’s latest HBO series, debate has centered on the show’s politics. Is it liberal satire or spectacle? 

Vikram Murthi
Adam Curtis’s Modern Discontents

Adam Curtis’s Modern Discontents

In his new eight-hour epic, the British filmmaker offers a globe-trotting chronicle of our times. 

Kevin Lozano
The Grotesque and Sublime Transformations of “Titane”

The Grotesque and Sublime Transformations of “Titane”

Julia Ducournau’s surreal horror film is a harrowing exploration of the body and technology.

Phoebe Chen

Politics

The Fuller Court.

Whose Side Is the Supreme Court On?

Many people who came of age in the 1950s and 60s view the Supreme Court as a force for good when it comes to race. But the court has often been the most anti-progressive branch of the federal government.
Randall Kennedy

Many people who came of age between, say, 1940 and 1970 have become accustomed to seeing the Supreme Court as a force for good when it comes to race. They have developed a faith in the justices’ claim, voiced in 1940 in a decision overturning the convictions of Black defendants… Continue Reading >

Poems

More in Culture