Books

Anne Rice's petition won't work. People will still find a way to be jerks on the Internet—because it’s the Internet.

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At what point does a work of supposed literary merit simply become fan fiction?

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Teddy Roosevelt, Not-So-Great Reformer

What Washington-focused liberals miss about Progressivism

The liberal consensus is that Teddy Roosevelt was a great progressive. But his popularity makes it hard to see an alternative: progressivism with power not in the hands of corporate managers, or oligarchs. 

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Two recent novels by Nigerian expats have explored the limits of the novel of ideas.

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How a Pope Helped Mussolini Rise to Power

And tried to stop him before it was too late

But then tried to stop him, before it was too late.

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Take the American gothic currents of Joyce Carol Oates; instill the pithy black humor of Sam Lipsyte and the absurdist instincts of George Saunders—minus the sci-fi, futuristic flourishes; add a dose of domestic macabre a la A.M. Homes; invite the open-ended poetry of Lydia Davis but mix it with the sociological precision of Jonathan Franzen, and you have something like a recipe for a Lorrie Moore story.

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Lorrie Moore Has a Politics Problem

What happens when fiction abuses the war on terror

Lorrie Moore is as talented as ever. But her attempts at post-September 11 topicality can be excruciating.

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How it became OK for musicians to reject popular appeal.

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Sex may be behind every poem ever written, but relatively few are actually about it, and even less are actually ''sexy.

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Malcolm Cowley did as much as anyone to shape the literary canon of the last century. Why did he hold onto Soviet Communism long after other American intellectuals had given it up?

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