The Suffering of the Guilty
June 18, 2012

In 1946, the Swedish novelist Stig Dagerman travelled to Germany to write a series of articles about the civilian population in the aftermath of war.

The Politics of Crassness
June 14, 2012

Ed Rendell has some good points to make in Nation of Wusses. The best, I think, is his demand that politicians stop apologizing for governing. While h

In and Out of History
June 13, 2012

In every respect, The World Without You marks an advance on Joshua Henkin’s previous book, Matrimony, which came out in 2007. On the spectrum of Ameri

Hysterical Punctuation
June 12, 2012

If Joseph Salvatore’s writing is not always satisfying, this is largely a function of his ambition, which pays homage to David Foster Wallace and W.G.

Perils and Privileges
June 11, 2012

According to Ananda Rose, pro-migrant groups are driven by religious conviction, compassion for people who end up dying in the desert, and opposition

Remembering Ray
June 07, 2012

In January 2005 I received a copy of a special edition of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. It was inscribed by the author, and the inscription began: Dear Stan, A lifetime ago—summer 1953—you flew to L.A. to feed me ice cream and advice on how to finish this novel! What a grand summer! Actually we were together only four days, but it was grand, and there was ice cream. In 1953 I was the editor-in-chief of Ballantine Books, and when we acquired Ray’s manuscript, his agent warned me about proofs. Ray, he said, was notorious for fussing with them at length.

The Need to Lead
June 07, 2012

Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global PowerBy Zbigniew Brzezinski (Basic Books, 208 pp., $26)  When it comes to offering a vision to guide American foreign policy, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s latest book, unlike so much other literature of this type, refuses to lament or exaggerate the alleged decline in American power and influence. Instead Strategic Vision offers a kind of blueprint—a path that Washington must take, in Brzezinski’s view, to ensure a secure international order, in which free markets and democratic principles can thrive.

The Curse of Knowledge
June 07, 2012

Imagine: How Creativity Works By Jonah Lehrer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 279 pp., $26)  THE YEAR IS 1965. Bob Dylan has just completed two weeks of touring in England. He is tired—exhausted actually. He needs a break. There is a tiny cabin in upstate New York where he can stay, where he can get away from it all, where he can find himself. After returning from Europe, he does just that. It’s him and his motorcycle. No more songwriting, no more guitar, no more pressure, no more responsibility. Hell, he might start working on a novel.

In the Rhino Colony
June 07, 2012

In The Fifth Impossibility, his new collection of essays, Norman Manea demonstrates that he is an indispensable analyst of what it means to be a Roman

The Horizon Artist
June 06, 2012

Juan José Saer is not a writer with an instantly eye-catching signature like Cortazar with his brasher, vanguard luster, or Borges in his wry eruditio