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Winter 2019

Issue 18

The annotated table of contents below offers a sneak peek at what's in Issue 18.


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Letter

Letter on Denialism

By and

In November, Politico published a profile of Claire Lehmann, the founder of the web magazine Quillette, which it hailed as the “unofficial digest” of the intellectual dark web.


 

Essays

Lessons of Defeat

By

In the early 1970s, the leftist student movement in Egypt organized protests that rocked the country. Arwa Salih was a leading member of the movement, […]


What Was New Atheism?

By

Much of the recent commentary on the New Atheists and their friends has focused on their flirtation with the worst ideas of the far right, but it might be more instructive to look at what they call for openly: the redemption of rationalist or “classical” liberalism. In this regard, they have at least as much in common with the mainstream centrism reeling from Hillary Clinton’s defeat as they do with Donald Trump’s “deplorables.”


The Exception

By

The director Lois Weber had a habit of signing her films, such that several end with a title card in florid script, “Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber.”


 

Symposium

On the End

By

What ought we to be optimistic for? For the survival of the earth? For the continuation of the human species?


Animal Magnetism

By

Among other, graver things, I will remember the summer of 2018 as the summer during which we tried to stop using plastic straws.


Past Underfoot

By

From the water, our first view of the town is a magenta haze on the northern shore.


Toward a Useful Ignorance

By

I remember shutting my eyes to hear the soft wind sigh in the fine fringe of wire-thin needles, gathered five to a bunch, soughing high overhead.


Conservation’s Radical Center

By

What the hell am I doing here? It must have been 120 degrees—hotter, actually, since heat was also blasting upward from the volcanic rock all around me in the Sonoran desert north of Phoenix.


Stretching the Veil

By

The 1850 Census was the first to ask U.S. residents about their place of birth, which made it possible to calculate the foreign-born percentage of […]


 

Survey

Working with the Earth

By

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 […]


 

Reviews

The Souls of Yellow Folk

By

Toward the back of Wesley Yang’s new collection of essays, The Souls of Yellow Folk, is a treatment of Neil Strauss’s book The Game. Published […]


The Demon in Democracy

By

In 1989 Francis Fukuyama prophesied “the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” Less than thirty years later, liberal democracy, we are told, is in crisis.


The Loser

By

Soon after I arrive in Chicago, on an August afternoon with a heat I remember from childhood, I head to a bar on the North Side and shoot pool.