Books

The best 9/11 novel is a comic one

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The printed page still matters, even where you wouldn't expect it.

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On the anniversary of George Orwell's death, a look at his deepest fears.

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No, Jane Austen Was Not a Game Theorist

Using science to explain art is a good way to butcher both

Proust was a neuroscientist. Jane Austen was a game theorist. Dickens was a gastroenterologist. Enough with the using science to explain art.

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Balanchine's Mystery Woman

The dancer who might have set the course for 20th-century ballet

After the Soviet revolutions of 1917, the czar was gone but ballet remained. A fascinating history of how George Balanchine helped remake ballet for the people—and just who helped him do so.

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Seeds of Doubt

Harry Truman's concerns about Israel and Palestine were prescient—and forgotten

His doubts about the Jewish and Palestinian states were prescient—and forgotten.

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The Filibuster Does Not Protect Minority Interests

And other reasons to reject supermajority requirements

The filibuster is worse than you thought. 

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A look at the lives of 6 provocative, uninhibited women. 

 

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This piece first appeared on newstatesman.com. Since whoever we are (save for a few sad Leninists) we all agree with George Orwell, it usually follows that Orwell must agree with us. Whatever our 21st-century predilections, Tory or leftist, conservative or progressive, we discover blessings and endorsements somewhere in Orwell’s words. We grab him for ourselves.

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The literary tastes of dictators are a slightly sordid fascination. Here are the favorite books of a few of our least favorite men.

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