Books & the Arts

Gogol's Bullshit Jobs

His biting satires of Russian bureaucracy examined the random cruelty and arbitrary hierarchy of an empire in crisis.

Jennifer Wilson

Are We Living in an Age of Strongmen?

A new book by Ruth Ben-Ghiat discusses the past and present challenges posed by authoritarianism, but misses the social and economic conditions in which it arises.

David A. Bell

The Age of Care

A new history by Gabriel Winant examines how an economy of care—and with it a new working class—emerged out of deindustrialization.

Nelson Lichtenstein

From the Magazine

The Untold History of Freedom

A new book charts the tension between individual and collective notions of liberty.

Tyler Stovall

Kazuo Ishiguro at the End of the End of History

In his new novel Klara and the Sun, the British novelist offers us a narrative as much about our own world as about any imagined future.

Katie Fitzpatrick

Ami Ayalon’s Political Journey

In Friendly Fire, the former Shin Bet director offers two narratives—one of the story that Israel tells the world, the other of the story Israel tries not to tell the world.

Raja Shehadeh

B&A Newsletter

Best of Books & the Arts

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

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Literary Criticism

The Worldmaking of N.K. Jemisin

Through her speculative fiction, Jemisin builds worlds and probes them—exploring who they work for and how.

Stephen Kearse

Can the Novel Document the Present in Real Time?

Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet is an experiment in novel writing that closely tracks and analyzes the news as it happens.

Rumaan Alam

Elena Ferrante’s Class Dramas

Her latest novel, The Lying Life of Adults, mines the contradictions of class identity.

Jennifer Wilson

History & Politics

The Future of Postcolonial Thought

A pair of books—one by Walter Mignolo and Catherine Walsh, another by Achille Mbembe—consider the unfulfilled promise of decolonization.

Arjun Appadurai

What Comes After Meritocracy?

The long-standing focus by liberals on meritocratic advancement has isolated the working class.

Elizabeth Anderson

Why Do Humans Move?

A new history examines how migration has been the rule of history, not the exception.

Daniel Immerwahr


Mike Davis’s Forecast for the Left

His works of history and social criticism have grappled with the political and ecological disasters of the past. His work has now started to become more hopeful about the future.
Micah Uetricht

In early 2009, the historian and social critic Mike Davis sat down for an interview with Bill Moyers to discuss what was then the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. When asked whether, as a socialist, he had anticipated the crisis, Davis said he couldn’t have predicted its scale… Continue Reading >

Ad Policy

Television and Films

Michael Apted’s Flawed but Brilliant Epic of British Social Life

The Up series was meant to investigate inequities of British class. It also ended up telling a different story as well.

Susan Pedersen

Judas and the Black Messiah’s Stark Binaries

A new biopic of Fred Hampton poses a question: Will a film ever capture the radical spirit of the Black Panthers?

Stephen Kearse

‘Minari’ Is a Landmark for Asian American Cinema

Lee Isaac Chung’s poignant immigrant drama is the kind of film that can be felt with all five senses. 

Kristen Yoonsoo Kim


How Silicon Valley Broke the Economy

The question of how to fix the tech industry is now inseparable from the question of how to fix the system of capitalism that the late 20th century gave us.
Adrian Chen

One of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs’s most audacious marketing triumphs is rarely mentioned in the paeans to his genius that remain a staple of business content farms. In 1982, Jobs offered to donate a computer to every K–12 school in America, provided Congress pass a bill giving Apple substantial tax… Continue Reading >


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