The group blog of The New Republic
July 30, 2013
The first penguin paperbacks—including titles by Ernest Hemingway, Agatha Christie, and André Maurois—were published on this day in 1935. At six pence each, they were the same price as a box of cigarettes and much cheaper than hardcovers. Mass-producing paperbacks popularized literature for a new class and fundamentally changed the printing industry. Below is a select visual history of the Penguin paperback.
In a Sunday New York Times column provoked by two new documentaries—”The Act of Killing,” about the anti-communist massacres in Indonesia in 1965-6, and “Blackfish,” about a SeaWorld orca implicated in the deaths of three people—Nicholas Kristof asked, “Some day, will our descendants be mystified by how good and decent people in the early 21st century—that’s us—could have been so oblivious to the unethical treatment of animals?” They probably will be, and these seven examples wil
July 29, 2013
Not long ago, Mac McClelland, a reporter for Mother Jones, spent a month working at a warehouse that handles shipping for the big online merchants. Here is how it began:
"Don't take anything that happens to you there personally," the woman at the local chamber of commerce says when I tell her that tomorrow I start working at Amalgamated Product Giant Shipping Worldwide Inc. She winks at me. I stare at her for a second.
Remember when Howard Dean was a rabble-rousing progressive, the one who ran for president railing against special interests? Remember when he insisted health care reform include a public insurance option, at one point suggesting that a plan without a government-run plan was “worthless”? Ah, good times…
If, like me, you are in that curious band of Americans who still faithfully read Peggy Noonan’s column, you know that she was back at it this past weekend with her latest idee fixe: the IRS scandal. It was her eighth column on that subject in less than three months. The week prior, she had written one hollering about a new “bombshell” revelation that turned out, on closer inspection, to be two months old.
According to his Twitter profile, Francis Pedraza, founder of Everest, seeks to lead his team "towards our vision of unlocking human potential." It's an interesting goal to consider in light of what Pedraza said last week. As Valleywag's Sam Biddle spotted, Pedraza praised the founders of Snapchat (a disappearing-text service) for apparently doing some of their beta testing on homeless people.
Having learned over the last few years that one must try to ride out, for sanity's sake, the all-consuming stimulus-reponse cycles fostered by 24-hour media, I gave myself an entire weekend to suppress, set aside, and generally forget about the Anthony Weiner pubic selfies that dominated the news last week.
There is much to be said about the interview Reza Aslan did Friday on Fox News’ online show “Spirited Debate.” Aslan, a Muslim writer who converted from Christianity (to which he had converted from Islam) who holds a doctorate in sociology of religions, just published a popular book about Jesus. Fox News, which like U.S.
July 28, 2013
THE END OF BIG LAW
Dear Lawyer: It's Not You, It's Your Profession
Defenders of Big Law sound a lot like the defenders of the real estate bubble in the the mid-2000s. Look how well that ended!