In the New York Review of Books, Bill McKibben uses his review of David Sax’s new book, The Revenge of Analog to meditate on the enduring joys of playing board games or writing things with paper and pen, and how they keep us grounded in our humanity.
“Really it’s the nuclear holocaust I’m worried about.” One of my essay selections for Longreads Best of 2016 was by Masha Gessen, the Russian-American journalist and author of 2016’s The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, whose “Autocracy: Rules for Survival” in the New York Review of Books revealed in stark […]
Why are we Americans so drawn to the Scandinavian Peninsula and beyond? Why do some Republicans speak of Sweden with disdain or horror, whereas left-leaning folks go starry-eyed? Does the recent influx of refugees to these countries mark the beginning of institutionalized xenophobia?
His central point, however, is incontestable. ISIS is taking root in Gaza among its disillusioned youth; he might not be able to persuade his own students “to maintain peaceful methods,” Omar Hams said. “We are dealing with individual souls. Anyone oppressed can do anything. That is why I issue a warning: to end the suffering […]
The President: How do you reconcile the idea of faith being really important to you and you caring a lot about taking faith seriously with the fact that, at least in our democracy and our civic discourse, it seems as if folks who take religion the most seriously sometimes are also those who are suspicious […]
At The New York Review of Books, former New York Times reporter—and current salon co-owner—Richard Bernstein takes the paper to task for its much-talked-about two–part 7000-word exposé on the exploitation and abuse of employees at nail salons in New York City. He says the article—which led to a state-wide investigation and a new law instituted […]
Today, Antoni Gaudí is unquestionably perceived as an architectural giant—seven of his works are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and after an unlikely decades-long campaign for sainthood the legendary architect could be beatified in 2016—but interestingly, this wasn’t always the case. Martin Filler explored the Spanish Catalan architect’s legacy in a piece for the New York Review of Books. According to Filler, Gaudí languished […]
Architect Maya Lin was a senior at Yale when she designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In a 2000 essay for the New York Review of Books—which she began writing around the memorial’s completion in fall 1982 and then put aside for nearly two decades—she reflects on how she came to enter in the competition, and the […]
Indeed, for a city that only last summer feared it would be overrun by jihadis, Baghdad feels uncannily lacking in trauma. Perhaps Iraqis have learned how to live with their fears, but ISIS feels more threatening in European capitals than it does in Baghdad. Too complacently, Iraqis talk about ISIS in the past tense, as […]
Put another way, the supposition on which our mass incarceration is premised—namely, that it materially reduces crime—is, at best, a hunch. Yet the price we pay for acting on this hunch is enormous. This is true in the literal sense: it costs more than $80 billion a year to run our jails and prisons. It […]
Though I knew Einstein for two or three decades, it was only in the last decade of his life that we were close colleagues and something of friends. But I thought that it might be useful, because I am sure that it is not too soon—and for our generation perhaps almost too late—to start to […]
Why then does the American public still consider all spies to be demons? Why does the public make no distinction between technical spies like Julius Rosenberg stealing useful knowledge and tactical spies like Kim Philby destroying human lives? Perhaps it is because the American public is misled by the American secrecy system. The secrecy system is a bureaucratic monster that classifies vast quantities of information as secret, making it impossible for the ordinary citizen to see the difference between important and unimportant secrets.
It is seldom mentioned that Poe came of age in a slave society, in a household where slaves were present. Poe does nothing to draw attention to the fact. An account of the business interests of Poe’s foster father, John Allan, quoted by the biographer Jeffrey Meyers, notes that he and his partner “as a […]
It is worth noting that American students have never received high scores on international tests. On the first such test, a test of mathematics in 1964, senior year students in the US scored last of twelve nations, and eighth-grade students scored next to last. But in the following fifty years, the US outperformed the other […]
The Ice Bucket challenge raised millions for ALS research, not to mention awareness about the disease: the motor neuron disorder, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects thousands of Americans. It’s also served as a reminder about the work that Tony Judt did to convey what it was like to live with ALS, in his […]
Memory is your greatest ally and your primary source material, because memory is your body as it was in the world and the world as it was and will be; memory is the people you have loved or wanted to love in the world, and what are we if not bodies filled with reminiscences about […]
Paul Krugman, in the New York Review of Books, on Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the new book from Thomas Piketty, professor at the Paris School of Economics: It therefore came as a revelation when Piketty and his colleagues showed that incomes of the now famous “one percent,” and of even narrower groups, are actually […]
There is the scientific and ideological language for what is happening to the weather, but there are hardly any intimate words. Is that surprising? People in mourning tend to use euphemism; likewise the guilty and ashamed. The most melancholy of all the euphemisms: “The new normal.” “It’s the new normal,” I think, as a beloved […]