The New York Times Magazine

Generation Whine

From Lena Dunham to "FUCK! I'm in My Twenties," inside the cultural fixation with the worries of privileged twentysomethings.

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Are Women Too Willing To Settle? Too Risk-Averse in Love? And Is Modern Life to Blame?, by Martha Nussbaum Welcome to Mexico! The Home of Kidney Transplants at Low, Low Prices! Get ‘em While They’re Cold!, by Mary Cuddehe Does the U.S. Really Need to Show Israel Some Tough Love?

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Washington Diarist: 'The New York Times Magazine' Has Given up on What Matters, by Leon Wieseltier Four Ways Obama's New Manufacturing Czar Can Actually Help Fix the Economy, by Howard Wiel Will Giving in to Olympia Snowe Ruin Health Care Reform? by Ed Kilgore Blanche Lincoln Will Lead One of the Most Powerful Environmental Committees? Say It Ain't So!

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"Does the Magazine have an ideology?" This is the fine question that the editor of The New York Times Magazine attempted to answer last week. "At the risk of giving some of my colleagues hives," Gerald Marzorati wrote online, "I think it does." Good! A dissent, and a promise of seriousness. And then there followed this, which historians of culture may one day find useful: Call it Urban Modern. That is, I think it reflects not a left-or-right POLITICAL ideology but a geographical one, the mentality of the place [sic] it is created: 21st Century Manhattan.

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  Here's the latest dispatch from Michael Idov, our man in Moscow. You can also find his most recent video report here. (For more election coverage from Russia, check yesterday's post and video.)  Yesterday in the New York Times Magazine, Andrew Meier profiled one of the perennially thwarted Russian opposition leaders, Eduard Limonov. “[President-elect] Dmitri Medvedev … is little more than a proxy,” Meier writes, but “there remains one genuine opposition force, the Other Russia.” To be blunt about it, no there doesn’t.

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Paper Tigers

IT WOULD BE hard to find three families who have supported democratic principles around the world with more resolve than the Sulzbergers, the Grahams, and the Bancrofts. The first two scarcely need introduction. The Sulzbergers, of course, control The New York Times Company; Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the family’s current sovereign, is both chairman of the board and publisher of its most prized asset, The New York Times.

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New Deal

It was a perfect day for a provocation. In late August, Norbert Vollertsen, a German human rights activist, traveled in a chartered bus from Seoul to Cholwon, just a few miles from the border with North Korea. His mission was simple: to launch a flock of hot air balloons, each bearing a small cargo of radios, that the day's brisk wind would carry into the North, where everyone but the elite is deprived of radios that would enable them to listen to foreign broadcasts. In addition to the balloons, the bus contained roughly a dozen journalists.

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Sweet And Low

I. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (HarperFlamingo, 546 pp., $26) Barbara Kingsolver is the most successful practitioner of a style in contemporary fiction that might be called Nice Writing. Nice Writing is a violent affability, a deadly sweetness, a fatal gentle touch. But before I start in on Kingsolver's work, I feel I must explain why I feel that I must start in on it. I do so for a younger version of myself, for the image that I carry inside me of a boy who was the son of a sadistic, alcoholic father, and of a mother who was hurt but also hurtful, and abusive.

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Now that the schools have more or less abandoned the responsibility, passing judgment on speech has become semi-institutionalized in our society in the columns and commentaries of the so-called 'pop grammarians.' The label is a little unfair, since talking about talk is, or ought to be, a kind of right of cultural citizenship.

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