The New Yorker

Scripture Picture
October 19, 2009

The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb (W.W. Norton, 224 pp., $24.95)  A certain amount of sensationalistic misinformation was circulated in the press last spring, here and in England, when word got out that R. Crumb had done an illustrated version of Genesis. Crumb was the leading innovative figure of the underground comics movement of the late 1960s and has enjoyed a devoted following ever since. His graphic work, always memorable, is often physically aggressive, raunchy, and sexually explicit.

A Geek Grows in Brooklyn
October 15, 2009

Why Jonathan Lethem refuses to grow up.

The Bloodlust State, Ctd.
October 05, 2009

Every time it seems that Texas's application of the death penalty cannot become a greater moral disgrace, officials in the state find a way to outdo themselves.

Toobin: Don't Torture Zazi
September 25, 2009

The New Yorker's Jeff Toobin offers a good response to my open question about how we should be handling Najibullah Zazi, an accused al Qaeda terrorist who may be in league with men still on the loose: Time to break the waterboard out of storage? I think not—and not just because it’s illegal. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn which is bringing the case (and where I was a prosecutor in the early nineties) filed a brief where it outlined the reasons why Zazi should be detained rather than released on bail.

Hawk Down
September 24, 2009

With the 2008 presidential campaign in full swing two summers ago, Joe Biden, then making his own bid for the White House, ridiculed Barack Obama on a momentous issue: Afghanistan. The occasion was an August 2007 speech by Obama outlining his plans to fight Al Qaeda, which included sending an influx of American troops and aid to the country. Later that day, Biden issued a snarky press release gloating about his own extensive record of pushing similar policies, and which cast Obama as a naïve newcomer.

Dead Letter
September 01, 2009

It is easy to disagree about the death penalty in the abstract, but anyone who doesn't harbor serious reservations about its application--the racial disparities, the often dubious safeguards, the eleventh-hour Death Row exonerees--isn't paying adequate attention.

New York City's Bad Teacher Debacle, Revisited
August 24, 2009

This week, The New Yorker has a piece about New York City teachers. The story focuses on "Rubber Rooms," or Temporary Reassignment Centers, which are where the city sends teachers who have been accused of misconduct or incompetence. But the city's teacher's union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), insists that Rubber Rooms are where the city shoves senior teachers whose salaries have ballooned over the years and who often frown upon Mayor Michael Bloomberg's control of the schools.

Where Hiphop Is "going" And Where It Never Was
May 21, 2009

The roundtable on hiphop over at the Atlantic is interesting. A discussion on what's new on the hiphop scene? That'd make perfect sense to me - but then that alone would fall somewhat outside of the Atlantic purview and be more like a piece by Sascha Frere-Jones at the New Yorker. No, the roundtable participants are musing over hiphop as something Potentially Important. It is this treatment of the music that has confused and bemused me for years.'s Week In Review (7.18.08)
July 18, 2008

TNR started off the week by trouncing The Atlantic at softball and settling in for a Sunday read of Ryan Lizza's New Yorker piece. But our peace of mind was soon disturbed. Eve Fairbanks alerted us to the magazine's cover art, which the Obama campaign called "tasteless and offensive." Michael Crowley and Isaac Chotiner thought Obama was wrong to pick a fight about it, but Jason Zengerle disagreed and wondered if David Remnick didn't know what he was getting into.

Mr. Right?
June 25, 2008

The New Yorker is hardly the optimal vehicle for reaching the conservative intelligentsia. But, last year, Barack Obama cooperated with a profile for that magazine where he seemed to be speaking directly to the right.