Books & the Arts

Kamel Daoud and the Paradoxes of Liberation

In a new collection of his political writings, the Algerian novelist contemplates the unfinished business of his country’s struggle for independence.

Robyn Creswell

Is Our Food Culture Killing Us?

How we “choose” what to eat takes place within a contained food environment shaped by availability and advertising, traditions and trends—and, above all else, economics.

Susan Pedersen

Bon Iver’s Great Escape

What began as a solo folk act has swelled into a collaborative and ecstatic mix of rock, pop, gospel, and more. 

Marcus J. Moore

From the Magazine

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

What Misogyny Does

In her new book, philosopher Kate Manne insists that what’s important is not what men intended but how women experience misogyny.

Clio Chang

Martin Hägglund’s Case for Socialism

If we knew there were no afterlife, would we make this life better? 

Peter E. Gordon

History & Politics

Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the Long Arc of Reconstruction

In his new book, Gates argues that the history of American democracy has always been one of constant push and pull.

Robert Greene II

Wendell Berry’s Lifelong Dissent 

At the core of both his writing and activism is the insight that we can’t imagine a harmonious future without confronting the destruction in our past.

Jedediah Britton-Purdy

Have Americans Become More Conspiratorial?

In their new book, Russell Muirhead and Nancy L. Rosenblum argue that a new form of conspiracy thinking is consuming our culture in dangerous and alarming ways. But is it?

Sophia Rosenfeld

Literary Criticism

What Inspired ‘Lolita’?

Sarah Weinman’s new book traces the true crime that influenced Nabokov and the writing of his novel.

Jennifer Wilson

Sally Rooney and the Millennial Novel of Manners

Her second book, Normal People, mines the travails of Irish youth to tell a decidedly contemporary love story. 

Hannah Gold

Toni Morrison’s Cosmos

Like a new planet, she shifted the flow of gravity in American culture.

Jesse McCarthy
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The Many Lives of Romare Bearden

An abstract expressionist and master of collage, an intellectual and outspoken activist, Bearden evolved as much as his times did.
Nell Painter

Mary Schmidt Campbell begins An American Odyssey, her formidable new biography of Romare Bearden, in the middle of his career, when the civil rights ferment of the 1960s prompted him and other black New York City artists to form Spiral, an artists’ association that they hoped would help them play… Continue Reading >


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


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

Even in a world tightly trussed by neoliberal dogma and basted by surges of populist anti-elitism, the role of the left intellectual has lost none of its fascination. There remains a yearning to find figures who combine intellectual distinction with radical politics, and who can bring their ideas and theories,… Continue Reading >


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