With all the fuss about health care negotiations and then Scott Brown last week, I rudely forgot to introduce TNR's newest feature, The Book. Rather than try to explain what makes it so special, I'll defer to its gifted Executive Editor, Isaac Chotiner:
The slow and steady transfer of people’s attention to the web is a fact of our culture. And the absence of any site for the serious consideration of serious books is also a fact of the web. And then there is the equally discouraging fact–not online but in the real world–of the literary impoverishment of American newspapers, many of which have fired their book critics and shrunk or closed their book sections. It is a time, then, for friends of books to push back. At The Book we plan to extend the critical principles that animate the literary pages of The New Republic to online journalism--to help fill the vacuum left by the carnage in American newspapers. And since the quality of the criticism whose demise we rightly bemoan was often not very high, this may be an opportunity not only to remedy the situation, but also to improve it.