Books & the Arts

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

Toni Morrison’s Cosmos

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

Jesse McCarthy

Between Genius and Banal: The World of Kate Zambreno’s ‘Screen Tests’

Her new book is invested in issues of fame and public self-presentation—how the brilliant and the mundane collide in the itch of ambition. 

Audrey Wollen

From the Magazine

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

Bruno Schulz’s Dream Worlds

Born in turn-of-the-century Poland, Schulz lived both longer and better in his books than in real life. 

Becca Rothfeld

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

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

Julius Scott’s Epic About Black Resistance in the Age of Revolution

Modeled after Braudel’s masterpiece on the Mediterranean, The Common Wind helps recovers the radical world of black mariners, rebels, and runaways banding together to realize their freedom.

Manisha Sinha

The Contradictions of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

The Supreme Court justice may have been heralded by many of his progressive peers, but the legacy he left behind is far more ambiguous.

Brenda Wineapple

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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History

Congress’s History of Violence

A new history of the antebellum years reminds us that politics on Capitol Hill has never been civil.
Andrew Delbanco

In a speech spanning two days in May 1856, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner spent five hours on the floor of the Old Senate Chamber denouncing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a compromise bill that left the fate of slavery in those territories to be decided by local popular vote. In the course… 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

Philosophy & Political Theory

Can Charles Mills Save Liberal Philosophy From Itself?

In his new book, the philosopher argues that political theory has obscured the history of racism in liberal societies.
Christopher Lebron

Charles Mills’s Black Rights/White Wrongs represents the culmination of more than two decades of work on the philosophy of race and social justice. Mills received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1985, working with the left-wing philosophers Frank Cunningham and Daniel Goldstick on the concept of ideology in… Continue Reading >

Poems

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