“Two metal-detector enthusiasts discovered a Viking hoard. It was worth a fortune—but it became a nightmare.”
As American values shifted, and the New York that she loved changed, one naturalized citizen found herself changing too, so she and her family decided to return to her native England even though it was no longer home.
At The New Yorker, Rebecca Mead profiles Margaret Atwood — Canada’s prolific queen of literature. Mead and Atwood cover the resonance of The Handmaid’s Tale in Donald Trump’s America, Atwood’s approach to feminism, and the purpose of fiction in today’s society. Beloved for her incisive mind along with her works, Atwood uses unlimited curiosity as her approach to a life well lived — whether that’s living in a tent while birding in Panama, engaging with her 1.5 million Twitter followers, or writing as a septuagenarian. “I don’t think she judges anything in advance as being beneath her, or beyond her, or outside her realm of interest,” says friend and collaborator, Naomi Alderman.
A 2010 profile on the big media dreams of Andrew Breitbart, who died early Thursday morning at age 43:
“Breitbart, who is Jewish, grew up in Brentwood, an affluent part of Los Angeles. He seems a familiar bicoastal type until he starts explaining his conviction that President Barack Obama’s election was the culmination of a plot, set in place in the nineteen-thirties by émigré members of the Frankfurt School, to take over Hollywood, the media, the academy, and the government, with the aim of imposing socialism. ‘He’s a Marxist,’ Breitbart says of Obama. ‘His life work, his life experience, his life writings, and now his legislative legacy speak to his ideological point of view.'”
Every generation gets the self-help guru that it deserves. In 1937, at the height of the Depression, Napoleon Hill wrote “Think and Grow Rich,” which claimed to distill the principles that had made Andrew Carnegie so wealthy. “The Power of Positive Thinking,” by Norman Vincent Peale, which was published in 1952, advised readers that techniques such as “a mind-emptying at least twice a day” would lead to success. By the seventies, Werner Erhard and est promised material wealth through spiritual enlightenment. The eighties and nineties saw management-consultancy maxims married with New Age thinking, with books such as Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” In the past decade or so, there has been a rise in books such as “Who Moved My Cheese?,” by Spencer Johnson, which promise to help readers maximize their professional potential in an era of unpredictable workplaces. Timothy Ferriss’s books appeal to those for whom cheese, per se, has ceased to have any allure.