Why Don't We Take the Russian Spies Seriously?
July 13, 2010
In a season of crises, from Iran to North Korea to the Gulf of Mexico, the revelation of a Russian spy ring in the United States has been greeted as a source of welcome comic relief. It’s not just Jon Stewart, or the headline writers of the New York Post, who can’t keep a straight face talking about the eleven Russian “illegals,” long-term secret agents who built up elaborate cover identities as ordinary Americans.
The Prose and the Passion
July 13, 2010
A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M. Forster By Wendy Moffat (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 404 pp., $32.50) Concerning E.M. Forster By Frank Kermode (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 180 pp., $24) Whenever E.M. Forster is discussed, the phrase “only connect” is sure to come up sooner or later. The epigraph to Howards End, the book he described with typical modesty as “my best novel and approaching a good novel,” seems to capture the leading idea of all his work—the moral importance of connection between individuals, across the barriers of race, class, and nation.
July 09, 2010
In the writing of history, there are no innocent decisions—especially if you are trying to write a compact book about a huge, complex, and polarizing
June 25, 2010
Sacks omits the existential dimension of faith, the one in which each of us must decide for him- or herself whether to believe and why. Nor does he re
Why Do We Care About Countries We'll Never Go To?
June 24, 2010
This week, as I looked forward to the launch of Entanglements, I happened to be reading selections from the Spectator of Addison and Steele.