Free Press

Torture, America, and the Laws of War
December 21, 2012

Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American HistoryBy John Fabian Witt (Free Press, 498 pp., $32)   WAR IS ABOUT killing, maiming, and destroying. Yet in its midst men have sought heroism not only in savage acts of bravery but also in observing limits, in finding a way to affirm their and their adversaries’ common humanity, in the concept of honor as a higher expression of morality than is attainable even in peace.

On Voting Worries, Sweat The Small Stuff
November 02, 2012

Liberals worry a lot about rigged voting machines. They should probably worry more about more mundane ways to skew the election outcome.

Homer Now
June 07, 2012

The Iliad of HomerTranslated by Richmond Lattimore (University of Chicago Press, 599 pp., $15) Homer: The IliadTranslated by Anthony Verity (Oxford University Press, 470 pp., $29.95) Homer: The IliadTranslated by Stephen Mitchell (Free Press, 466 pp., $35) Memorial: An Excavation of the IliadBy Alice Oswald (Faber & Faber, 84 pp., £12.99) The Song of AchillesBy Madeline Miller (Ecco, 378 pp., $25.99)  English Translation and Classical Reception: Towards a New Literary HistoryBy Stuart Gillespie (Wiley-Blackwell, 208 pp., $110.95)   I. "Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’s son Achilleus/an

Cry, the Beloved Country
May 05, 2011

Ahmed Rashid reviews Pakistan: A Hard Country, Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of the Global Jihad, Pakistan: Terro

The Facts Fetish
October 20, 2010

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values By Sam Harris (Free Press, 291 pp., $26.99) Sam Harris’s first two books, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason and Letter to a Christian Nation, attacked religious faith. His new book, interestingly enough, attacks not faith but a form of skepticism—moral skepticism. Harris’s aim is to show that there is moral truth, and that it does not depend on the word of God.

The Stranger From Within
September 01, 2010

William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies By John Carey (Free Press, 573 pp., $32.50) The publishing history of Lord of the Flies reads like a fairy tale. In 1953, more than half a century ago, a grubby, dog-eared manuscript that had made the rounds (and of which only the first twenty or so pages had received serious attention) arrived at the office of Faber & Faber, the most distinguished literary publisher in London.

The Stranger From Within
September 01, 2010

William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies By John Carey (Free Press, 573 pp., $32.50) The publishing history of Lord of the Flies reads like a fairy tale. In 1953, more than half a century ago, a grubby, dog-eared manuscript that had made the rounds (and of which only the first twenty or so pages had received serious attention) arrived at the office of Faber & Faber, the most distinguished literary publisher in London.

The Case for Fear
December 11, 2006

Overblown: How Politicians And The Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, And Why We Believe Them By John Mueller (Free Press, 259 pp., $25) What's Wrong With Terrorism? By Robert E. Goodin (Polity, 246 pp., $59.95) In 1995, the political scientist Aaron Wildavsky published a provocative book under the title But Is It True? Wildavsky's central claim was that many environmental risks are ridiculously exaggerated. In his view, governments often devote substantial resources to trivial or even nonexistent problems.

What Stuff!
January 17, 2005

by Christine Stansell

Vanity Fair
March 29, 1999

Just how destructive is conspicuous consumption?

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