Hitler

Whether or not Mitt Romney’s multiple gaffes in London end up hurting his presidential campaign, they’re a good opportunity to remember that political skirmishes have always been part of the world’s premier international sporting event. Which should come as no surprise: Given that the athletics are themselves considered displays of national prowess, it’s only natural that they become proxies for grander geopolitical struggles. But which events would compete for the gold (so to speak) for most outlandish Olympics political conflict ever?

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Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems, 1964–2001 By W.G. Sebald Translated by Iain Galbraith (Random House, 166 pp., $25)   THE REPUTATION OF an important writer will continue to swell in his or her absence, nourished by the unceasing attentions of friends, scholars, and devoted readers unwilling to forget an artist who changed the way they perceive the world. And so it is with W.G. Sebald.

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Unlikely Collaboration: Gertrude Stein, Bernard Faÿ, and the Vichy DilemmaBy Barbara Will (Columbia University Press, 274 pp., $35)   IdaBy Gertrude Stein Edited by Logan Esdale (Yale University Press, 348 pp., $20)   Stanzas in Meditation: The Corrected EditionBy Gertrude Stein Edited by Susannah Hollister and Emily Setina (Yale University Press, 379 pp., $22) ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1951, an oddly dressed young woman appeared in an alley adjacent to the municipal hospital in Angers, a town southwest of Paris.

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Fevers

“The list of controversies grows weekly,” Ethan Bronner and Isabel Kershner, filing from Jerusalem, write in The New York Times.

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Ron Paul has recently suggested there was only a “total of about eight or ten sentences” of “bad stuff” in the newsletters that he regularly used to publish under his name. This assertion was patently false: As TNR has shown, the newsletters contained dozens of statements marked by bigotry and conspiratorial thinking.

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Our very last troops in Iraq have left for home. And, of course, Iraq is no longer ruled by the Ba’athist tyrant who murdered so many people both within his own country and in Iran that he should be counted in the bloody second circle right behind Hitler and Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot.

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Representative Barney Frank announced his retirement today. And if you’ve followed the coverage, on the web or on television, then you may have seen this episode. It’s from a town hall meeting in Massachusetts, during the infamous late summer of 2009, when right-wing activists started showing up at meetings of Democratic lawmakers to protest health care reform.

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Dirty Money

They are selling postcards of Hitler in the gift shop at the Guggenheim Museum. To be precise, they are selling photographic reproductions of a work entitled Him, a polyester portrayal of the Führer that is one of the works by Maurizio Cattelan in his retrospective at the museum. I can imagine being outraged or at least troubled by the postcards in the gift shop, except that by the time I saw them I had already been bombarded by this exhibition in which nearly all of Cattelan’s oversized neo-Dadaist baubles have been hung from the ceiling of Frank Lloyd Wright’s rotunda.

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As the discourse about Israel on university campuses continues to degenerate, there is growing concern that some of Israel’s most vocal detractors are crossing a red line between acceptable criticism of Israel and legitimizing anti-Semitism.

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[with contributions from Matthew O'Brien and Darius Tahir] Anarchy is all fun and games, I suppose, until you need to get something done – like, say, condemn the handful of anti-Semites in your midst. That’s the message Michelle Goldberg sends in a new piece she’s just written for Tablet.

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