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ideas, criticism, debate
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The essay thrives on paradox: confession and concealment, disorder and progression, concision and profusion. The <strong>best essays </strong>are never about what they claim to be about

Sun, 07/23/2017 - 18:50
The essay thrives on paradox: confession and concealment, disorder and progression, concision and profusion. The best essays are never about what they claim to be about

How <strong>Sir Arthur Conan Doyle</strong>, creator of the supremely rational Sherlock Holmes, came to proselytize for spiritualism, participate in s&eacute;ances, and believe we can speak to the dead

Sun, 07/23/2017 - 18:50
How Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the supremely rational Sherlock Holmes, came to proselytize for spiritualism, participate in séances, and believe we can speak to the dead

Leonardo and Michelangelo were driven and difficult, which is central to their modern appeal. The less mercurial <strong>Raphael </strong>is more admired than loved

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 19:06
Leonardo and Michelangelo were driven and difficult, which is central to their modern appeal. The less mercurial Raphael is more admired than loved

The history of <strong>modern cool </strong>is one of strange convergences &mdash; among French intellectuals, black musicians, and white Hollywood heroes

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 19:06
The history of modern cool is one of strange convergences — among French intellectuals, black musicians, and white Hollywood heroes

In 1967, <strong>Timothy Leary told Allen Ginsberg </strong>to drop out. "What can I drop out of?" Ginsberg asked. "Your teaching at Cal," Leary said. Ginsberg chuckled. "But I need the money"

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 19:06
In 1967, Timothy Leary told Allen Ginsberg to drop out. "What can I drop out of?" Ginsberg asked. "Your teaching at Cal," Leary said. Ginsberg chuckled. "But I need the money"

A new history of the right is <strong>red meat for the left</strong>. Critics have tried to dismantle the book, footnote by footnote. Has anyone actually read it?

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 18:19
A new history of the right is red meat for the left. Critics have tried to dismantle the book, footnote by footnote. Has anyone actually read it?

The only thing worse than newspaper humor is newspaper humor written in dialect. So why does the rube-journalist shtick of <strong>Ring Lardner </strong>hold up?

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 18:19
The only thing worse than newspaper humor is newspaper humor written in dialect. So why does the rube-journalist shtick of Ring Lardner hold up?

The Cold War lasted until 1991, but Cold War philosophy is still with us. Consider the strange and enduring career of <strong>rational choice theory</strong>

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 18:19
The Cold War lasted until 1991, but Cold War philosophy is still with us. Consider the strange and enduring career of rational choice theory

Gene editing threatens to homogenize society, says <strong>Atul Gawande</strong>. Aberrant yet valuable characteristics are under threat. Think of George Church's narcolepsy

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 18:42
Gene editing threatens to homogenize society, says Atul Gawande. Aberrant yet valuable characteristics are under threat. Think of George Church's narcolepsy

Fiery or meek, bombastic or shy, licentious or pious, revolutionary or reactionary, cunning or na&iuml;ve: <strong>Martin Luther </strong>cut a contradictory swath across history

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 18:42
Fiery or meek, bombastic or shy, licentious or pious, revolutionary or reactionary, cunning or naïve: Martin Luther cut a contradictory swath across history

<strong>Biology and its discontents</strong>. Techno-optimists come in all stripes &mdash; scientists, seekers, grifters, con artists. They share a zeal for augmenting their bodies

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 18:42
Biology and its discontents. Techno-optimists come in all stripes — scientists, seekers, grifters, con artists. They share a zeal for augmenting their bodies

Rather than &ldquo;Which side are you on?,&rdquo; <strong>Samuel Huntington </strong>wrote, the question in the post-Cold War world would be &ldquo;Who are you?&rdquo; What a prescient insight

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 17:58
Rather than “Which side are you on?,” Samuel Huntington wrote, the question in the post-Cold War world would be “Who are you?” What a prescient insight

For <strong>Stuart Hall</strong>, culture is what defines common sense and builds our identities. But how to understand the role of culture we never experience?

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 17:58
For Stuart Hall, culture is what defines common sense and builds our identities. But how to understand the role of culture we never experience?

Alcohol dissolves the barrier between aspiration and judgment. Come morning, the barrier is rebuilt. You mourn for the feeling you had last night. <strong>Metaphysics of the hangover</strong>

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 17:58
Alcohol dissolves the barrier between aspiration and judgment. Come morning, the barrier is rebuilt. You mourn for the feeling you had last night. Metaphysics of the hangover

<strong>Darwin and women</strong>. Publicly dismissive of the female intellect, in private he was completely dependent on it

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 18:50
Darwin and women. Publicly dismissive of the female intellect, in private he was completely dependent on it

&ldquo;I have a natural horror of letting people see how my mind works,&rdquo; wrote <strong>John Ashbery </strong>at 23. Why is he now engaged in a project of self-exposure?

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 18:50
“I have a natural horror of letting people see how my mind works,” wrote John Ashbery at 23. Why is he now engaged in a project of self-exposure?

Charles Fourier thought men would grow tails. John Humphrey Noyes had a penchant for awkward sexual metaphors. Meet the founders of <strong>America&rsquo;s utopian experiments</strong>

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 18:50
Charles Fourier thought men would grow tails. John Humphrey Noyes had a penchant for awkward sexual metaphors. Meet the founders of America’s utopian experiments

Among most economists, <strong>globalization </strong>has been seen as both inevitable and salutary. Now the cracks in that consensus have split wide open

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 18:22
Among most economists, globalization has been seen as both inevitable and salutary. Now the cracks in that consensus have split wide open

<strong>Mocking Thoreau </strong>is a pastime that dates back to his time. He was tagged as a hypocrite &mdash; a fraud, and a lazy one at that &mdash; even before <em>Walden </em>was published

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 18:22
Mocking Thoreau is a pastime that dates back to his time. He was tagged as a hypocrite — a fraud, and a lazy one at that — even before Walden was published

A Chinese writer sets a novel during the Holocaust? A Jewish boy writes about a black man in 1810? It&rsquo;s the result that matters, <strong>not the creator</strong>

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 18:22
A Chinese writer sets a novel during the Holocaust? A Jewish boy writes about a black man in 1810? It’s the result that matters, not the creator