Columns > Books

Tuesday, February 9 2016

Why Does Paul Bowles’ 70-Year-Old Existential Masterpiece Continue to Test Our Limits?

The Sheltering Sky is itself a test of limits: its form is an exploration of how far one can go in novel writing.


Monday, February 8 2016

A No-Nonsense Agenda for the Left

The authors of Inventing the Future ask: why think local, when there’s a world to win?


Friday, January 29 2016

Christianity’s Crisis in Medieval Japan Says a Lot About Cultural Dialogue Today

Shusaku Endo’s classic novel of faith, doubt, and intercultural communication, Silence, readies itself for a timely big-screen debut by Director Martin Scorsese.


Wednesday, January 27 2016

Anthropology’s Storyteller-Shaman-Sorcerer Strikes Again With ‘The Corn Wolf’

Michael Taussig’s work both attracts and angers other anthropologists. It also re-enchants a discipline that is in desperate need of it.


Friday, January 22 2016

What Rod Dreher Ought to Know About Dante and Same-Sex Love

Getting Dante straight means getting him gay, as well.


Wednesday, January 20 2016

Showa Epic of Japan Concludes the Story of a Man and His Nation

Past and present converge in Mizuki’s conceptually rich manga.


Monday, January 18 2016

‘The Autobiography of James T. Kirk’: Backstories for Everyone!

Filled with in-jokes and subtle references to the show, uber-fans will love this "auto" biography of Star Trek's Captain Kirk and the stories of the people in his life.


Monday, January 4 2016

On Judging the Judges of the US Supreme Court

Cass R. Sunstein categorizes the Court’s judges into personas, tracing their personalities according to the position they assume in their rulings.


Thursday, December 17 2015

‘Asking For It’ Is a Harrowing Read, But Offers Hope, Too

Kate Harding offers a damning survey of rape culture’s tenacious hold on American society, and argues that recognizing the problem is the first step to fixing it


Wednesday, December 16 2015

James Baldwin Matters

There's a reason why Ta-Nehesi Coates is often compared to James Baldwin, and there's a reason why Baldwin's work is so relevant in the age of Black Lives Matter.


Monday, December 14 2015

What Can Mushrooms Tell Us About the End of Capitalism?

An anthropologist ties together mushrooms, salvage accumulation, and the end of capitalism’s progress narrative.


Friday, December 11 2015

It’s in the Blood: A Conversation with History Writer Tim Hannigan

Treading the lines between journalist and academic, travel writer and scholar, author Tim Hannigan talks about his latest book and his unorthodox approach to writing historical narratives.


Thursday, November 19 2015

Ian Buruma: A Voice of Tolerance and Erudition Among Liberalism’s Intellectuals

In Theater of Cruelty the politics of love, war, and popular culture define the career of one of today’s foremost public intellectuals.


Monday, November 16 2015

Performing Politics: Judith Butler and the Struggle for the Street

We may hate that we are vulnerable and dependent upon one another, argues Judith Butler, but it's that very interdependence that allows us to mobilize together as social movements.


Wednesday, November 4 2015

Gabriel Urza Redefines the Political Novel With ‘All That Followed’

The former public defender notes that All That Followed "...requires people to think about political actors as individuals rather than as ideologues. That's been my experience in real life."


Thursday, October 15 2015

Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet Offers Penetrating Psychological and Sociopolitical Insight

A committed feminist, Ferrante writes with often astonishing candor, even "ferocity", about women's lives, their conflicted relationships with their bodies, with each other, and with men.


Monday, October 12 2015

On Evil Yogis and the Icy Silence of Yoga’s Post-Disintegration

David Gordon White's life-long research of South Asian religions reveals the dubious roots of the West's feel good contemporary yoga industry.


Thursday, October 8 2015

The Los Lonely Wolves, Los Lobos, Is Still Brilliantly Defying Classification

It's hard to imagine an American band that's more inventive, death-defying and affable as Los Lobos. A new book and record reveal why.


Monday, October 5 2015

The Day Sarah Records Died

I first loved and admired Sarah Records not because it had begun, but because it had ended. It seemed to me ending things took much more courage, strength and self-discipline than beginning them.


Friday, October 2 2015

‘Operation Ajax’ Illustrates How the CIA Destroyed Democracy in Iran

The extent of US involvement in undermining Middle Eastern democracy is gradually coming to light, and being told through a variety of genres.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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