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July 29, 2016
What Breeds in ‘Standing Water’
Eleanor Chai’s poems require delving below the surface of each compact, enjambment-packed stanza, forcing the reader through a process of discovery not unlike Chai’s own origin story.
July 21, 2016
Across the Border
A new biography of William Henry Ellis reminds us how much we still don’t know about the elusive history of racial subterfuge in America.
Michael A. Elliott
July 6, 2016
Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices
At a time when populism is in vogue, the Nobel Laureate has gone in the opposite direction. We need to read her and listen to the people she hears.
April 20, 2016
Hume’s Call to Action
For philosophy to be effective, it has to understand the world in which it operates. David Hume brought history and politics to the realm of ideas.
March 24, 2016
Joseph Brodsky, Darker and Brighter
A spellbinding new biography rescues the poet from sentimentality and kitsch.
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March 10, 2016
Margaret Thatcher’s Fogeyism
Charles Moore, the prime minister’s authorized biographer, believes the successes of Thatcherism to be self-evident, and he frequently lets his biases show.
March 3, 2016
Out of two new books, Constance Fenimore Woolson emerges as a figure of some dimension in her own right.
January 28, 2016
J.M. Coetzee’s Facts of Life
For the South African author, the selves we write and read may be truer than any other.
January 7, 2016
The Many Manipulations of Henry Kissinger
In his new biography, Niall Ferguson is blind to his subject’s recklessness and treachery.
November 18, 2015
Nothing Remains Unchanged but the Clouds
With his worries about the gigantic power of technology and the minuscule moral illumination it can afford, Walter Benjamin remains our contemporary.