November 16, 2010

Cleopatra was a brilliant politician and strategist who became an icon of sinuous feminine danger and manipulation. She has long been the archetypical

Anatomy of Melancholy
November 02, 2010

New biographers of Samuel Johnson seem less awed by him, the shaper of men, than by his disciple. Johnson’s moralizing has become quaint. As professio

Art and Ugliness
September 27, 2010

The story of the abusive, alcoholic writer is a familiar one, and we generally make allowances for such a figure. We can forgive a great deal if the w

No Prize
June 08, 2010

If you were an immigrant sailing into New York harbor at the close of the nineteenth century, the first building to catch your eye would have been the

The Goal Was Greatness
May 26, 2010

When you are an inarguably excellent novelist of the mid-twentieth century, with a solid trans-Atlantic reputation among critics and readers and stead

The Wise Man
May 24, 2010

This wise and interesting book condenses a lifetime of political learning into a few hundred crisply written pages. Along with Raymond Aron, he is one

Lovers, Not Victims
April 14, 2010

The intimate lives of writers have always had a special attraction for readers, perhaps because we imagine that people who can shape ideas and arrange

Roots and Branches
April 02, 2010

We live in an age of family, or at least an age of deep hunger for family. Let no one tell you tall tales about the eclipse of family values. Read eno

In and Out of History
February 02, 2010

There is much to be learned from these studies and others by “Tintinologists”—about Hergé, about the “world” of Tintin, even about twentieth-century p

January 11, 2010

Joan of Arc, in the 580 years since she came to fame, has been hero and villain, primal innocent and cunning manipulator, nationalist and universalist