professor

Things Come Together

The Thing Around Your Neck By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf, 218 pp., $24.95)   In “Jumping Monkey Hill,” the most wicked story in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s new collection, a group of young writers selected from all over Africa have gathered for a workshop at a fancy resort outside Cape Town--”the kind of place,” thinks Ujunwa, the representative Nigerian, “where . . .

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Maurice Bowra: A Life By Leslie Mitchell (Oxford University Press, 385 pp., $50) As warden of Wadham College in Oxford, president of the British Academy, the author of well-known books on ancient Greek literature, and a conversationalist of legendary brilliance, Maurice Bowra seemed, in the middle of the last century, the very embodiment of Oxford life. Enjoying a huge international reputation as a scholar, a wit, and an administrator, he was duly elected into prestigious academies and awarded honorary degrees in both Europe and America. George VI knighted him in 1951.

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Ryan Lizza has some fascinating biographical details in his must-read profile of Summers in the forthcoming New Yorker. First, he solves a mystery I'd chewed over but never figured out when profiling Summers myself:  M.I.T. hired him as a professor in 1979, then Harvard offered him tenure in 1982, when he was just twenty-seven. He was one of the youngest people to receive tenure in the university’s history.

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David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men has been adapted for the screen. Well, parts of it have been adapted--chiefly, the four parts that bear the same title as the book and the film. Wallace’s book is a miscellany of prose outbursts, some that soar in known styles, some that fling aside known styles, some of deliberate wildness. The book evokes much the same reaction as does Godard.

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The Baader Meinhof Complex.  This German film about German terrorists of the 1970s is not only dynamically made and acted, it tries to tell the truth about the reason for the outbursts. Certainly there is a great deal of violence, but there is also some understanding of character and of political texture. (Reviewed 9/23/09) Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. The actor John Krasinski is not only in this film, he adapted and directed it. Drawn from David Foster Wallace’s fiction, it explores contemporary male attitudes toward women with less bravura than Wallace but with considerable insight an

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The Usefulness of Cranks

Paradise Found: Nature in America at the Time of Discovery By Steve Nicholls (University of Chicago Press, 524 pp., $30) American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau Edited by Bill McKibben (Library of America, 1,047 pp., $40) Defending The Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, And The Legacy Of Madison Grant By Jonathan Peter Spiro (University of Vermont Press, 462 pp., $39.95) A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir By Donald Worster (Oxford University Press, 535 pp., $34.99) A Reenchanted World: The Quest for A New Kinship With Nature By James William Gibson (Metropolitan Books,

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Or would that be a lagging indicator? Whatever the case, John Harwood reports in his NYT "Caucus" column that: [S]igns that economic growth is resuming have eased the sense of crisis surrounding Mr. Geithner’s work. The economic 'message' meetings in Mr.

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Robert Wright responds: The title of my book refers not to biological evolution but to the evolution of the human conception of God. So it's odd that The New Republic chose a biologist, Jerry A. Coyne, to review the book ("Creationism for Liberals," August 12). But it turns out that Coyne's misplaced expertise wasn't the main problem. Of his many serious misrepresentations of my book, most seem rooted in a simple failure to read it--or read it attentively, at least. Here is a small sample of Coyne's errors.

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Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. As Ryan Grim has reported, House Democrats are on a path to reverse the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange. Unfortunately there is a catch.

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Why We Are Sick

Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. This morning’s “Science Times” includes an item by John Tierney titled “To Explain Longevity Gap, Look Past Health System.” The piece starts out strong, noting that the health system—by which he means the notably narrower universe of personal health services—is not the only reason this nation scores poorly in international lifespan rankings.

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