Kindle

The printed page still matters, even where you wouldn't expect it.

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Truths Universally Acknowledged

What the Kindle’s most-highlighted passages tell us about the soul of the American reader

What the Kindle’s most-highlighted passages tell us about the soul of the American reader. 

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When Francois Hollande, the newly elected president of France, arrives today in Berlin for his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it will kindle memories of the long history of Franco-German partnership in leading the European Union. In France, it may even trigger the traditional condescension Parisian politicians feel towards their neighbors: the lumbering German economic giant that relies on French diplomatic, military, and nuclear savoir faire to achieve political clout. Increasingly, however, such sentiments are mere nostalgia.

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The first thing to be said about the lawsuit filed last week by the Justice Department against Apple and five book publishers is that the defendants very well may be guilty. There does seem to have been collusion among them to fix the price of e-books. But even if the book publishers’ actions were illegal, that’s not to suggest what they did wasn’t understandable. Indeed, there’s a plausible case to be made that the actions of the publishers actually amounted to combating an abusive monopoly—namely, Amazon.

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Going to Melody

In a country as injured as ours, there is something unseemly about all this sagacious talk of creative destruction. A concept that was designed to suggest the ironic cruelty of innovation has been twisted into an extenuation of economic misery—into capitalism’s theodicy. Where there are winners, there are losers: praise the Lord and pass the Kindle.

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It’s looking more and more likely that Barack Obama will be facing Mitt Romney next November. According to recent polls, Romney’s much-debated “Mormon Problem”—considered by some to be a main roadblock to the Republican nomination in 2008—has decreased in salience among the white evangelicals on whom he’ll probably depend in both the primary and general elections.

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The New Republic on the Death of Osama bin Laden is now available in the Kindle Store. Just before 10 p.m. on Sunday May 1, 2011, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer announced that President Obama would deliver a statement to the country later that evening. The address was delayed; reports said that the President was writing his own speech. At 11:35 p.m., speaking to a larger audience than at any other time during his presidency, Obama stated that Osama bin Laden was dead. Earlier that day, in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, a team of U.S.

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On Sunday May 1, 2011 at 11:35 p.m., speaking to a larger audience than at any other time during his presidency, Obama stated that Osama bin Laden was dead. Earlier that day, in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs had descended on bin Laden’s compound and, after a 40-minute firefight, shot and killed the leader of Al Qaeda. Over the course of the week that followed, The New Republic unpacked the implications, symbolic and substantive, of bin Laden’s death.

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In the Margins

In the latest installment of its occasional series on how technology is ruining our lives, The New York Times reports on a conference about to be held by the Caxton Club, a group of Chicago bibliophiles, on how annotating books “enhance[s] the reading experience.” Alongside some entertaining literary tidbits (Nelson Mandela wrote his own name in the margin of Julius Caesar next to the line “Cowards die many times before their deaths”), we find in the article the usual doomsday musings on the fate of marginalia in the digital age. The Caxtonites, needless to say, are not into the Kindle.

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After The Fall

On Saturday night, April 24, 2010, five days before John Edwards’s mistress Rielle Hunter sat down with Oprah to talk about the by-then-infamous sex tape and other embarrassments that had destroyed his political career, the former presidential candidate showed up at the West End Wine Bar in downtown Durham, North Carolina. It was around ten o’clock, and Edwards wanted a glass of wine after finishing dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant. When he got to the door, Edwards was disappointed to learn the bar was closed for a private event.

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