Edmund Wilson at TNR
January 01, 2010
F. Scott Fitzgerald famously called Wilson his "intellectual conscience," and some considered him the twentieth century's preeminent man of letters. From his perch as TNR's literary editor, and then as a roving correspondent, critic Edmund Wilson was in large part responsible for the introduction of literary modernism to American culture.
Hard Times--And How You Can Help
December 30, 2009
The economists tell us that the recession is over or, at least, nearly over. A California woman named Claudia Bruce might not agree: Claudia Bruce was laid off from her well-paying job 13 months ago after the economy fell. Now, Bruce is among a growing number of people who, in what seemed like an instant, went from middle class incomes to relying on public assistance. Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties fed a record-breaking 272,000 people in November.
The Movie Review: 'Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans'
November 20, 2009
“Iguana / Alligator footage by Werner Herzog.” This tidbit of information appears in the closing credits of Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, but it might more usefully have been conveyed in the opening titles, if only to give audiences a better idea of what’s in store. Though it borrows the first half of its name from Abel Ferrara’s 1992 film, and likewise tells the story of an out-of-control, drug-addicted cop, the movie is neither remake nor sequel; it’s a Herzogian exercise of another kind altogether.
Matters of Fact
October 24, 2009
In the mid-1950s, a photographer named Robert Frank, lately emigrated from Switzerland, drove around the United States to see and to join his new country. He shot pictures. The results, or his choices among them, were published in a book of eighty-three photos called The Americans, which was an immediate and lasting success. The book was not only a unique way for a newcomer to learn about his new home: in some ways it showed a social candor that was as yet unusual in photography.
Earth to Obama
October 01, 2009
Bill McKibben: You can't negotiate with the planet.
Katrina: Four Years Later
August 29, 2009
Today marks the four-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall into Louisiana. It was one of the largest national disasters in the history of the United States, with an immediate death toll of nearly 2,000 and an estimate of more then $100 billion in damage. TNR writers attempted to chronicle the saga in all its complexity. At the time, Adam Kushner wrote longingly about the diaster devastating his home city. However, as Dante Ramos explained, there were already a wide range of problems facing New Orleans.
New Orleans’ New Winds of Change
August 28, 2009
The fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina falls this weekend. Usually, a fourth anniversary is not a landmark. But this one is notable for the many leadership transitions afoot. First, the election of President Obama has heightened hopes for a new federal direction in the Gulf Coast.
Counting on Trouble
August 11, 2009
In theory, the Census is a straightforward, if onerous, task: Every ten years, count everybody. In reality, it's rife with logistical snags and subject to partisan wrangling--and, with just eight months to go before the Big Count, you can already sense how nasty this one is going to get. The first major volley was launched in April, when a pair of Republican senators stalled the confirmation of Obama's nominee for Census director, keeping him from conducting crucial preparatory work.
Counting on Trouble
August 11, 2009
In theory, the Census is a straightforward, if onerous, task: Every ten years, count everybody. In reality, it's rife with logistical snags and subject to partisan wrangling--and, with just eight months to go before the Big Count, you can already sense how nasty this is going to get. The first major volley was launched in April, when a pair of Republican senators stalled the confirmation of Obama's nominee for Census director, keeping him from conducting crucial preparatory work.
Disney Gets It Right
June 02, 2009
So Disney's animated movie is already occasioning offense: although it will feature Disney's first black princess, her swain will be a light-skinned fellow not intended as black. The setting is 1920's New Orleans and he is of some sort of non-black extraction. You know what that means--why can't he be a dark-skinned, full-lipped brotha?