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Columns > Books

Wednesday, March 4 2015

From Tehran to Tel Aviv: Of Crime and the Cities

Akashic Noir series continues to serve up delightful and disturbing gems that offer remarkable insights into the world’s great (and not-so-great) cities.


Monday, March 2 2015

‘Who We Be’ and the Optics of Culture, in Living Colors

Jeff Chang's cultural history tackles how race has played out across the last 50 years, and counting, of American culture.


Monday, February 23 2015

Let’s Make Childhood Savage, Again

A growing movement says we ought to help our kids lead riskier lives with the intent of improving society.


Thursday, February 19 2015

Will the Bubble Burst on Our Right to Privacy?

A legal scholar and former journalist warns that if modern media pushes the envelope too far, we could all wind up losing.


Tuesday, February 17 2015

Clove Cigarettes and Indonesian Books: An Armchair Traveler’s Pleasure

The Modern Library of Indonesia series offers unparalleled access to the cultural landscape of the world's fourth most populous country.


Friday, February 13 2015

Tracing a Literary Lineage in Jonathan Franzen’s ‘The Kraus Project’

This unlikely combination of a translation and memoir offers as many telling insights into the preoccupations of Jonathan Franzen as it does into Karl Kraus' life and work.


Wednesday, February 11 2015

In Defense of Brunch

A provocative and insightful new book challenges us to rethink our obsession with brunch, and to critically consider what this overpriced, messy meal really says about shifting class identities in today’s world.


Tuesday, February 10 2015

America Went to War on Terror and Terror Won

Veteran Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn provides exceptional analysis of the Islamic State and the broader conflict in Syria and Iraq.


Monday, February 9 2015

In Conversational Orbit of ‘God’s Planet’ With Owen Gingerich

Religion and science, two of the great cathedrals of knowledge, are often perceived as being in a state of conflict with one another. Gingerich is of the mind that the two cannot be separated.


Friday, February 6 2015

‘The Secret History of Wonder Woman’ Also Reveals a Great Deal About Our Own Social History

Jill Lepore's hit new book on Wonder Woman sheds light not only on the astonishing origins of this iconic character, but also on the fascinating social and political strands of history which gave rise to her.


Friday, January 30 2015

Perilous Discoveries: The Feminist Murder-Mysteries of Charlotte Armstrong

Armstrong's women opened the same forbidden doors as Agatha Christie and Patricia Wentworth's, but her characters also opened those doors for other, more pressing, reasons.


Thursday, January 29 2015

Metaphor in a Time of Ebola

The more closely I followed the Ebola coverage, the more the simulacra of contagion in fiction, film, and games seemed inextricably woven into the mainstream media.


Tuesday, January 27 2015

‘Philosophy Bites Again’ Is a True Philosophical Gourmet

This is a dinner party in book form, although with topics such as torture, group agency, hate speech, and the afterlife, it's not for the absent-minded.


Wednesday, January 21 2015

Antitheism and the Art of the “Hitch Slap”

Before Bill Maher became the demon-du-jour for his satirical scorn of religion, Christopher Hitchens led the charge of rhetorical antitheism.


Monday, January 12 2015

‘Collected Poems’ Captures the Vibrant Life of a Great Poet

Mark Strand's death in December 2014 casts a different light on his newest poetry volume, as it now carries the weight of summarizing a life in writing.


Tuesday, January 6 2015

A Blockbuster Turns 30: Alan Light Talks About Prince and ‘Purple Rain’

Music journalist and author of Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain Alan Light talks with PopMatters about Prince's one-of-a-kind perfect album.


Friday, December 19 2014

‘American Interior’: A Multimedia Tale of a Welsh Vision Quest

Gruff Rhys' innovative, multi-platform narrative unfolds the beguiling and intriguing narrative of an enigmatic Welshman seeking out his kind... in America.


Thursday, December 11 2014

‘The Copyright Wars’ Rage on After 300 Years

In a historical sweep of trans-Atlantic arguments over copyright law, some surprising shifts and patterns emerge, but the key, centuries-long battles remain.


Tuesday, December 9 2014

‘Yes Please’ Is White Liberal Feminism in Full Force

Yes Please is an honest but dull book that embraces the politics, and thereby the problems, of white liberal feminism.


Thursday, December 4 2014

‘The Red Tent’ Has Regaled Readers for 17 Years, and It Remains as Powerful as Ever

Anita Diamant’s storytelling is exceptional. There’s something here for everyone in a work which is an unquestioned masterpiece of historical fiction.


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