Seven Underrated Counties
November 06, 2012
Throughout the Bush years, Orange County, FL, Franklin County, OH, and Bucks County, PA ascended to national preeminence as the closest counties in the closest states in the 2000 election. In 2008, the diverse and well-educated new coalition counties, like Arapahoe, CO, Fairfax, VA, Wake, NC stole the show. In 2012, Obama could easily win every county listed above and lose the election. As the suburbs diversify and Republicans compensate with additional inroads into the countryside, the old swing counties of the Bush years have largely moved into the Democratic column.
March 02, 2011
The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement By David Brooks (Random House, 424 pp., $27) Why would David Brooks, the frequently interesting and reasonable-even-when-you-disagree-with-him columnist for The New York Times, write a book offering the latest insights from brain research? And why would he do it by adopting the method pioneered by Rousseau in Émile—that is, by inventing fictional characters whose adventures in life are meant to illuminate larger questions of individual development and social obligation?
March 16, 2010
One of the running jokes in On Beauty, Zadie Smith’s third novel, is that its main character is philosophically opposed to beauty. Howard Belsey is a professor of art history at Wellington College, and like all middle-aged professors in campus novels, he is a ludicrous figure--unfaithful to his wife, disrespected by his children, and, of course, unable to finish the book he has been talking about for years. In Howard’s case, the book is meant to be a demolition of Rembrandt, whose canvases he sees as key sites for the production of the Western ideology of beauty. “What we’re trying to ...