Cultural Criticism and Analysis

Cartoon Wars Cartoon Wars

Once upon a time, a psychiatrist named Fredric Wertham went on a tear over Wonder Woman.

Feb 3, 2005 / Books & the Arts / Richard Goldstein

The Moviegoer The Moviegoer

If Herbert Marcuse and Senator Joseph McCarthy had gone to a movie together in the late 1950s--and that could only happen in a movie--they would have walked out, probably not tog...

Jan 27, 2005 / Books & the Arts / Lee Siegel

Men in Dark Times Men in Dark Times

"I am very happy to see so many flowers here and that is why I want to remind you that flowers, by themselves, have no power whatsoever, other than the power of men and women who...

Jan 20, 2005 / Books & the Arts / Russell Jacoby

Subcontinental Homesick Blues Subcontinental Homesick Blues

Nearly twenty years ago, in a village in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, a young woman called Roop Kanwar was burned to death at her husband's funeral pyre.

Dec 9, 2004 / Books & the Arts / Siddhartha Deb

The Searcher

The Searcher The Searcher

In 1965, nearly forty years before the publication of Where I Was From, her most recent and most sustained meditation on her native state of California, Joan Didion wrote “John Way...

Jun 24, 2004 / Books & the Arts / Hilton Als

Human, All Too Human Human, All Too Human

Humanism, like democracy, is a word that labors under an excess of meaning. It can mean acknowledging the value of human beings, or denying the existence of God.

Apr 22, 2004 / Books & the Arts / Terry Eagleton

The Business of Theory The Business of Theory

The last decade or two have witnessed an insidious shift in American culture, one that goes to the heart of the way we talk about our society.

Jan 29, 2004 / Books & the Arts / William Deresiewicz

Lost Causes Lost Causes

Nations, like individuals, sustain trauma, mourn and recover. And like individuals they survive by making sense of what has befallen them, by constructing a narrative of loss a...

Nov 6, 2003 / Books & the Arts / Thomas Laqueur

Starting Out in the ’50s Starting Out in the ’50s

The best memoirs of recent years reveal "The Way We Live Now" as well as or better than most contemporary fiction.

Oct 23, 2003 / Books & the Arts / Dan Wakefield

Shooting Wars Shooting Wars

In her new book, Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag's focus is upon theaters of war and the way in which photographers have interpreted their role in the production of ...

Sep 18, 2003 / Books & the Arts / Peter Wollen