the New York Times

In Sickness and In Health
July 12, 2012

The Brucennial Frieze New York Stanley WhitneyTeam Gallery Owen GrayBlue Mountain Gallery Jeff WallMarian Goodman IN RECENT MONTHS, people who are avidly engaged with contemporary art have been checking their pulses so often that I can only conclude they are worried about their vital signs, not to mention the health of the galleries, museums, auction houses, art fairs, and sundry publications that help to sustain them. These health checks have become global in nature, with frenzied reports arriving from galleries in Beijing, auctions in Hong Kong, an art fair in Abu Dhabi.

The Surprising Queer Roots of the Blues
July 11, 2012

The path of social progress can take loopy turns. In the week since the R&B singer Frank Ocean announced the not-such-big-news that his first love was a man, influential figures in contemporary black music have portrayed the not-so-big event as a major test of character in the world of hip-hop and R&B.

Will Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law Cost Obama the Election?
July 10, 2012

Everything had been planned just so for President Obama’s July 6 campaign speech on the front lawn of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. Obama’s Oxford blue dress shirt was crisply cuffed. His Pittsburgh Pirates references were timed expertly. The loopy, cursive lettering of the campaign’s “Betting on America” billboard got several seconds of air-time on the local news. But the speech was marred by sweltering, 100-degree heat, something that no amount of planning could prevent.

And You Call Yourself a One-Percenter?
July 09, 2012

From the excellent lead to The New York Times story on Mitt Romney's Hamptons fundraisers: "EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. — A woman in a blue chiffon dress poked her head out of a black Range Rover here on Sunday afternoon and yelled to an aide to Mitt Romney. “Is there a V.I.P. entrance? We are V.I.P.”  No such entrance existed. The line of cars waiting to enter a Romney fund-raiser on a waterfront estate here had reached 30 deep, a gridlocked testament to the Republican candidate’s financial might on a weekend when he is expected to haul in close to $4 million in the Hamptons." Hmm.

Has Obama Lost His Best Chance to Rally the Youth Vote?
July 03, 2012

Congressional leaders announced last week—after months of bickering—that they finally reached a deal to prevent student loan rates from doubling, just days before the July 1 deadline. This may be good news for the many Americans who are currently suffering from an aggregate total of over a trillion dollars in student loan debt. But it's decidedly more ambiguous for one of the loudest supporters of the issue: President Obama. As we know, the youth vote was a crucial part of Obama’s successful 2008 coalition.

In Praise of Ruins: What the Fallen Grandeur of Ancient Rome Teaches Us
July 03, 2012

“Isn't it cool to be that much closer to the viewers of the first and second century?” This, I learned as I read the New York Times the other morning, is how Steven Fine, director of the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project and professor of Jewish history at Yeshiva University in New York, expressed his enthusiasm for the recent finding that the famous menorah in the bas-relief of the spoils of Jerusalem was originally painted a rich yellow ocher that would have looked like gold.

The Civil War in the Syrian Opposition: How Long Can the Free Syrian Army Hold Off Its Islamist Rivals?
June 25, 2012

If you want to know where the fourteen month-old Syrian revolution against President Bashar al-Assad is headed, the case of Walid al-Boustani provides a useful rubric. Al-Boustani led an ill-fated “Islamic Emirate of Homs” that lasted only a few weeks. Apparently the locals did not appreciate having an “Emir” who kidnapped and murdered their people while claiming to wage jihad against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Up in the Air
June 23, 2012

LATE ON THE MORNING of July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart climbed into the cockpit of her Lockheed Electra airplane on a small grass runway in Lae, New Guinea. She was 22,000 flight miles into her daring attempt to fly around the world, a journey that had captivated Americans since she lifted off from Miami a month earlier. Now Earhart was facing the most dangerous leg of the trip: a 19-hour, 2,556-mile flight to a tiny speck in the Pacific Ocean known as Howland Island. Earhart’s celebrity had grown formidable in the decade since her transatlantic flight, the first ever by a female pilot.

Efficacy and Democracy
June 21, 2012

Before 2013 begins, catch up on the best of 2012. From now until the New Year, we will be re-posting some of The New Republic’s most thought-provoking pieces of the year. Enjoy. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of PowerBy Robert A. Caro (Knopf, 712 pp., $35) I. MANY LIBERAL Democrats have yet to come to terms with Lyndon Johnson.

Jenny Craig’s Overseas Ambitions and a New Olympic Sport: Today’s TNR Reader
June 14, 2012

Editor’s Note: We'll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! In America, food is both the enemy and the cure. We overeat, we diet, we overeat. Is France heading in the same direction? Jenny Craig hopes so. The New York Times | 14 min (3, 449 words) Even though the Green Revolution was a tragic failure, Iran’s Mullahs are steadily losing their grip. World Affairs Journal | 11 min (2, 632 words) This summer, the Olympics will debut a new sport: women’s boxing.

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