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General

 

Issue 21

The annotated table of contents below offers a sneak peek at what’s in issue 21. To get the issue delivered straight to your door, subscribe…

 

Best of 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, we’re proud to present our top-ten most-read print essays of the year, listed below in reverse order. Although their…

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Letter

 

On the Hatred of Literature

The hatred of literature, though it remains almost unheard of among the general reading public, has become the default mode in the upper reaches of…

 

On Choosing Life

It’s reasonable to wonder whether it’s fair to bring children into a deteriorating world, and yet it’s nevertheless hard to shake the suspicion that, for…

 

On Left Straussianism

Nobody shares all their private complaints with an audience, but how do we know how much to share and with whom? Certainly, in the name…

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Dialogue

 

Property Damage

This interview first appeared on Tocqueville21, a blog about twentieth-century democracy.  ● With the publication of Capital in the Twenty-First Century in 2013, Thomas Piketty…

 

Control Groups

Politics has become about questions of life and death again in a way that blows a hole in a key aspect of the Hobbesian liberal…

 

Off the Wave

Justin E. H. Smith is a professor of history and philosophy of science at the University of Paris. In addition to his recent book, Irrationality:…

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Remarks

 

Limited Time

INTRODUCTION The subtitle of Martin Hägglund’s new book, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, indicates its ambition. In the first half of This Life,…

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Survey

 

Being a Kid

What do you think is the best part of being a kid?

 

Working with the Earth

This fall and winter we invited people who work with the land—farmers, ranchers, foresters, ecologists and others—to tell us what they think the earth is…

 

Living in Prison

This summer, in partnership with Chicago Books to Women in Prison, we distributed a short survey to incarcerated women across the country, inviting them to…

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Further Materials

 

Intellectuals in Crisis

Intellectual Ex-Radicals and World Reaction: The Crisis of the Disillusioned Fellow-Travelers of Bolshevism Is Not the Same as a “Crisis of Marxism” (Trotsky 1939) The Intellectual:…

 

Muellerisms

The following is a collection of statements published in the New York Times about Robert S. Mueller, from 2001 to today.

 

Comedy Studies

The following are actual titles of papers published in peer-reviewed academic journals.

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Dictionary

 

The Crisis of Language Project

alt right: i) right-wing racists who use leftist rhetoric. ii) establishment.

 

The (Updated) Dictionary of Received Ideas

Classics, the: force of oppression. Know enough to despise ~: “Plato was an authoritarian.” “Aristotle condoned slavery.”

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Correspondence

 

Simple Hearts

Much of what Dave taught me had to do with the sympathy and intelligence he applied to varieties of experience that that were alien to…

 

The Defender

He is the ambassador of a Jewish community rooted in an old Tehran that no longer exists.

 

Forms of Life

On January 17, 2018, the French government announced it was canceling plans to build an airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes. For fifty years, the project…

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Literature

 

The Patient Records

This piece is part of the Ferrante Project: 32 works by women writers and artists of color experimenting with freedom, anti-fame and anonymity. 1. It…

 

Artur and Isabella

My name is Isabella, says Isabella, and then she smiles so that he, Artur, can see her full set of teeth.

 

Safety Meeting

I’m writing this right now two hundred feet up in the air on top of a part of the oil refinery that makes polypropylene plastic.

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Slush Pile

 

The Life of the Mind

By some indicators we are entering a new Dark Age: anti-intellectual fervor is raging, suspicion of experts is at an all-time high and appeals to…

 

Endgame

Finally, in Samuel Beckett, we have our poet-laureate of climate change.

 

Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America arrives at an auspicious time. The French sociologist came initially to America to prepare a report on criminal justice,…

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Reading Room

 

Public Affairs

My deepest embarrassment about the whole subway-coffeeshop fantasy stems from the idea that I ever wanted my reading to fulfill someone else’s desire.

 

Two Rooms

This is the first column in the second round of Reading Room, a biweekly collective column on reading and life. In each round, the four contributors…

 

Nonessential Work

This is the fourth column in Reading Room, a biweekly collective column on reading and life. The column will go in rounds, with the four…

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Advice