Books & the Arts

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

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

What Inspired ‘Lolita’?

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

Jennifer Wilson

From the Magazine

What Political Scientists Get Wrong About 2016

While their evidence about the racism of many American voters is indisputable, their attempt to discount the role economics plays in this racism and in voting behavior in general is unconvincing.

Ryan Cooper

The Worlds of Kathleen Collins

The quiet brilliance of her films and fiction was found in her ability to to place the interior and subjective in the context of the social and political.

Farah Jasmine Griffin

The Class Politics of the Civil War

By naming a common enemy—the privileged class of slaveholders—the Republican Party and Union Army were able to build and then steer a coalition of Americans toward the systematic destruction of slavery.

James Oakes

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

The Inescapable Politics of Climate Change

What we need to know now is not what climate change will do in the future, but what we should about it in the present.

Alyssa Battistoni

Navigating Freedom With Cass Sunstein

When nudges won’t set you free.

Samuel Moyn

Literary Criticism

Wideman’s Ghosts

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

Jesse McCarthy

Namwali Serpell’s Postcolonial Epic

The Old Drift tells the multigenerational story of Zambia coming into being.

Nawal Arjini

Freud’s Discontents

Why did one of the 20th century’s most influential thinkers fade from significance?

Samuel Moyn
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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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