Books

Since When Is Philip Roth an Idol?

He went from bete noire to laureate. Why'd we lose track of his flaws?

In the 1990s, Philip Roth drifted from bête noire to laureate. Why'd we lose track of his flaws?

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"Why I Read" is another pointless entry in the tired genre, The Very Personal Book About My Love Of Reading.

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The de Waal family is back with another romp through 20th century European history.

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This is what it's like to be an American spy in the Middle East.

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Richard Bove's alarmist, snarky defense of big banks.

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Please, Liberals: Stop Abusing 'A Tale of Two Cities'

It was the best of lines, it was the worst of lines

It was the best of lines, it was the worst of lines—and now it's a cliche with no connection to a great book.

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There Will Never Be a Unified Theory of JFK

What a year of retrospectives missed about the martyred president

What the JFK retrospectives all missed is that JFK was psychologically inconsistent. Only his context explains him.

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Stop Hating Scrooge!

The 'Christmas Carol' curmudgeon is a forward-thinking liberal

Now that Christmas is safely behind us, and the mob atmosphere of virtue and piety has evaporated; now that, in the post-holiday doldrums, the stacks of wrapping paper have removed themselves to their ghastly translucent plastic bags and the dead trees have begun, one by one, to lie across the sidewalk, forming their final, horizontal forest, in premonition of the universal fate—now, at gloomy last, something should be said on behalf of Christmas's eternal victim, the ever-persecuted Scrooge, who, for all his failings, got one large thing right.

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The most important books in shaping my thinking.

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