Charles Dickens

Two centuries after his birth, Charles Dickens's greatness is still up for debate. 

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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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Ten Other Posthumously Discovered Novels

Salinger isn't the only one

If the reports are true, and J.D. Salinger’s estate is about to release five never-before-seen novels by the famously reclusive author, the literary world may be set to receive its biggest posthumous bounty since Emily Dickinson’s sister happened upon that trunk full of poems. As many have long suspected, Salinger may soon join the long, illustrious line of novelists’ whose work continues to emerge long after they depart this world.

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Two new books attempt but seem like entries in a dying genre.

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'What Maisie Knew': Is the Kid Alright?

This twenty-first century Henry James update is too cute by half.

This twenty-first century Henry James update is too cute by half.

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Working in the Dark

Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius By Sylvia Nasar (Simon & Schuster, 558 pp., $35) I thought I knew what this book was going to be about when I started it, but by the time I came to the end I was no longer sure.

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On Tuesday, Parliament’s hearing on News Corp was abruptly interrupted after a protester rushed toward Rupert Murdoch and tried to hit him in the face with shaving cream. The protester was identified as British comedian Jonnie Marbles, who tweeted about his intentions before the attack. “It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before (at)splat,” he tweeted, riffing off Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. The incident caused an uproar, but Murdoch was certainly not the first public figure to be “creamed,” so to speak.

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What does the future hold for Oprah’s Book Club? While the mogul’s final TV episodes—the last of which airs Wednesday—have brimmed with A-list celebrities, and her June magazine cover proclaims (in approximately size 48 font) a fond farewell to “25 years [of] ... the joy, the laughs, the lessons” on-air, the book club has received little attention from Oprah as the clock winds down on her daily talk show. The last selection for the club (Charles Dickens for the holidays) was a relative bust, and there is no reading-based show or segment currently scheduled on the OWN network.

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Freedom Agenda

Our political debates, our public discourse—on current economic and domestic issues—too often bear little or no relation to the actual problems the United States faces.  What is at stake in our economic decisions today is not some grand warfare of rival ideologies which will sweep the country with passion, but the practical management of a modern economy.

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The Great Animator: Charles Dickens's Obsession With Ghosts, Bottled Fetuses, and Other Dead Things, by Adam Thirwell Cohn vs. Kos on Whether to Blow up the Health Care Bill, by John Cohn Woody Harrelson Performs a Service for America’s War Dead. PLUS: How an Eskimo Boy Becomes a Man. by Stanley Kauffmann Did Obama ‘Dither’ on Afghanistan? Troops in Kandahar Aren’t Complaining. by Michael Crowley Washington Diarist: Ahmadinejad’s Giggle and Obama’s Cool, by Leon Wieseltier Will Obama’s Deal With Big Pharma Survive?

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