September 19, 2011

The Skin Trade
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The modeling world, with increased intensity in recent decades, has become one of freakish and outsized expectations—professionally and physically. Lo

August 31, 2011

All Mashed Up
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John Reader, in his ambling new history of the “propitious esculent,” calls the potato the “best all-around bundle of nutrition known.” Without any he

August 25, 2011


Terry Moe's book’s title, Special Interest, invokes a term historically applied to wealthy and powerful entities such as oil companies, tobacco intere

August 22, 2011

There’s No Shortage of Work. There’s a Shortage of Workers.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Turns out there isn't a shortage of work, just a shortage of workers.

Springtime for Hitler
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Jokes about Hitler, Nazis, and concentration camps were pervasive before and during World War II: the least amusing era in history produced its own qu

August 15, 2011

Dreaming and Not Believing
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A book whose argument is that young black people, living amid less racism than their parents, see racism as less of an obstacle, is likely to seem unr

August 10, 2011

The Power of the Powerless
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Dorothee Schneider's new book interweaves personal memoirs, immigration service files, and social histories compiled by philanthropic institutions wit

August 04, 2011

Past-Tense Pop
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Nowhere is the past’s grip so tight as in the world of music, as the rock critic Simon Reynolds meticulously documents in Retromania. Over the last tw

August 01, 2011

Jews Don't Eat Insects

In this decidedly post-modern iteration of Jewish travel literature, Levy finds himself in the rural heartland of China where incongruities abound: Pi

July 27, 2011


No literary trend is more damning of our collective intellect than that of the cultural history, which often amounts to little more than a lazy attemp