Is abundance really the solution to our problems?
“The future is better than you think” is the message of Peter Diamandis’s and Steven Kotler’s book. Despite a flat economy and intractable environmental problems, Diamandis and his journalist co-author are deeply optimistic about humanity’s prospects. “Technology,” they say, “has the potential to significantly raise the basic standards of living for every man, woman, and child on the planet.... Abundance for all is actually within our grasp.” READ MORE >>
Since publishing her first book, The House of the Spirits, in 1982, the Chilean writer Isabel Allende has written ten novels, four memoirs, and three young adult novels. She writes a lot. READ MORE >>
A masterpiece of Victorian adultery
There are not many poets whose fame rests on a single work. George Meredith (1828–1909), conspicuous in his time as both a novelist and a poet, never became a convincing poet on the order of Hardy or Lawrence. READ MORE >>
Fifty years ago this month, Martin Luther King Jr. drafted a letter from a cramped cell in Birmingham, Alabama. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Jonathan Rieder says in his new book Gospel of Freedom, reveals a more complex King, tough and tender, in equal measure. READ MORE >>
A history of real estate voyeurism
There is nowhere left to live in New York. Trust me, I know. Fewer apartments are on the market today in the city than at any time since records began, and if you want one you’d better be able to put up the cash. Manhattan, converted these past 20 years into an antiseptic (that’s Giuliani’s doing) luxury goods emporium (that’s Bloomberg’s), has long been out of reach; the leafier areas of Brooklyn were colonized in the last decade by brunching hordes willing to pay seven figures to live in ironic imitation of their immigrant grandparents. READ MORE >>
The perverse preoccupation of a 19th-century gentleman
Wendy Moore’s excellent new book, How to Create the Perfect Wife, joins a long list of “How To” texts that fail to divulge the secrets promised by their titles. (How to have a “One Hour Orgasm,” how to ensure “A Great Day Everyday,” etc.). READ MORE >>
The economic logic of the "new domesticity"
“Opting out” has never been as sexy as a decade of style section articles would have you believe. A decade ago, Lisa Belkin coined the term “opt-out revolution” in a piece that explained, “It's not just that the workplace has failed women. READ MORE >>
An important, new Auschwitz survivor's diary
In Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt writes movingly about the Nazis' failed attempt to plunge the entire Holocaust into silence. The Nazis thought they could exterminate the Jews so totally that not a single voice would remain to describe what had happened. READ MORE >>
The statistics of judicial behavior
Why do judges do what they do? It is easy to identify two different answers. The first emphasizes the law. The second emphasizes politics. READ MORE >>
Has financialization gone too far?
Central banking is not rocket science, but neither is it a trivial pursuit. READ MORE >>