2012-05-04

Date: 
Friday, May 4, 2012

Sex, Lies & Audiotape

In a brilliant takedown of the TV series Mad Men in the New York Reivew of Books, Daniel Mendelsohn condemned what many take to be the show’s main strength: its...

Long Division

American thinkers have long perceived a connection between robust democracy and a relatively egalitarian distribution of wealth. For all their differences, John...

Georgia O'Keeffe's 'The Miracle Flower,' 1936

Our white bellstrumpet the miracleof large, open whiteness. Don’t you see howwe fill this world,her tired canvas,with buoyant promise? We are the mind...

A Lion at Bay

I first came upon James T. Farrell (1904–1979) as a possible subject for a book around 1990, in a memoir by Sloan Wilson, the author of that emblematic novel of the...

The Unveiling

The shroud was a plain, straw-colored cotton fabric taped to the mausoleum’s wall. It concealed the name, newly carved into the granite façade, that my sister and I...

Climate change, confession, contraception, etc.

But Why?“‘Global Suicide Pact’” (March 23) was a fine introduction to some of the basic data, facts and projections about climate change. This is valuable material...

Literature’s Superego

In 1971, when I was beginning my academic career and Lionel Trilling was at the height of his fame, I sent him my essay “The Politics of Forster’s A Passage to...

A Losing Strategy

What are the U.S. Catholic bishops really arguing about with the Obama administration? Is it religious liberty, as they insist? Is it contraception and...

College, the New Luxury Item

A sad little story has been unfolding at Santa Monica Community College in Southern California. Santa Monica is apparently one of the better two-year colleges in...

Graceless Education

When Andrew Delbanco, chair of American Studies at Columbia University, joined the faculty a quarter-century ago, he attended a meeting to discuss a budget crisis....

Birth of a Nation

Last October the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its new and expanded Islamic galleries to widespread critical acclaim—“as intelligent as it is resplendent,”...

Four Poems

God’s Presence in Your Life?Who? Whoever it is I’ve shrugged shirkedcringed avoidedtoo big for meNot fear, not friendshipTolerant mutual avoidancePolite refusal to...