David Remnick

The Confessions of David Remnick

The New Yorker editor on difficult writers, Obama's shortcomings, and learning from Anna Wintour

The editor of the New Yorker talks Russia, Obama, and whether he is creating cultural serfdom online.

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Barack Obama Talks to Us Like We're Children

Because he's so busy showing us what an adult he is

Because he's so busy showing us what an adult he is.

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How The New Yorker Cover Became Twitter Gold

The legendary magazine alters its DNA for the Internet era

The first really talked-about New Yorker cover came nearly 70 years after the magazine’s founding. In 1992, when Tina Brown took over as just the fourth editor in its history, she broke a long-standing editorial taboo by adding three brand-name visual artists to the staff: cartoonist Art Spiegelman, illustrator Edward Sorel, and photographer Richard Avedon.

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“HE IS THE RARE man of sixty-two who is not shy about showing his ass—an ass finely sausaged into a pair of alarmingly tight black jeans—to twenty thousand paying customers.” This panting observation about a rock star was committed by the editor of The New Yorker. I miss Eichmann in Jerusalem, almost. David Remnick’s 75,000-word profile of Bruce Springsteen is another one of his contributions to the literature of fandom.

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We live in a world in which the contagion of anti-Semitism is spreading once again. Indeed, the profusion of hostility to Israel is the proof that hatred of Jews is now quite alright, thank you. But, whatever individual and isolated wrongs Israel commits, there are comparisons to be drawn. And the comparisons are to the Arab states and to Palestinian Arab society, in which oppression has flourished since the early years of the last century.

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Why have American novelists failed to tell convincing stories about terrorists?

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Most of this country is still grieving for the five people in the Fogel family who were murdered late Friday night in the religious settlement of Itamar, near Shechem (or Nablus) where, more or less, Jewish history began. This last assertion is probably thought by many readers—and maybe by you—to be reprobate.

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&c

-- Larry Diamond and Marty Peretz on Libya -- David Remnick on Obama and Netanyahu -- Like Steven Benen says: "Serwer 2, Thiessen 0"

Current Biography's feature on Rick Hertzberg covers mostly familiar (to me) ground. But this recounting of the magazine's debate over the Iraq War seems pretty interesting: A week before the start of the war with Iraq--which the administration claimed had so-called weapons of mass destruction--Hertzberg wrote for the New Yorker (March 17, 2003), "Both among those who, on balance, support the coming war and among those who, on balance, oppose it are a great many who hold their views in fear and trembling, haunted by the suspicion that the other side might be right after all. . . .

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The New Map

There are figures in history who wish to leave behind what Malraux called “a scar on the map,” but it was Barack Obama’s desire to leave behind a new map, and one without scars. His promise of global transformation was outrageously genuine, underwritten by an invincible belief in his own unprecedentedness and in his own magic; and it now looks like a personal delusion enlarged by political excitement into a popular delusion.

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