Rome

A look to the past may help psychiatrists understand the inner workings of the human brain.

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Writing about his obsession with art books in a wonderful little volume published this year—Phantoms on the Bookshelves—Jacques Bonnet says that “Images send you on to other images, artists to other artists, periods come one after another or echo each other, all with their cargo of art works.” And so it is when I think back on remarkable art experienced in the year just past.

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Amour is an unsentimental film about an intense, selfish love,

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How Alexander Hamilton and a Swiss anti-Federalist created our country's capitalist system.

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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. Zona By Geoff Dyer (Pantheon, 228 pp., $24)   NEVER MIND the writing, as superb as it so often is: as agile, as subtle, as witty, as funny, as brilliantly insightful. Never mind the breadth—a book about jazz, a book about photography, a book about a film, a book about D.H.

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In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers who love to go to museums can find some solace in museumgoing, and perhaps no exhibition has struck visitors more forcibly in recent weeks than “Bernini: Sculpting in Clay,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This intimate, enchanted show, pairing Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s terracotta studies with a group of his drawings, which are equally amazing, carries us deep inside the creative processes of one of the greatest sculptors who ever lived.

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This summer, the Internet warmly embraced the birth of “Monkey Jesus,” a tragicomic attempt by a well-intentioned octogenarian in Spain to restore a decaying fresco by herself. But the ape-ified “restoration” wasn’t just a source of countless online memes; it was a grim symptom of a crisis metastasizing across Europe.

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A startling new book on the distribution of wealth in early Christianity

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The modern idea of human rights was only created after World War II. In the next half-century, it became a global movement.

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Blame it on the Reformation

A new book on the post-Reformation West is more fable than history.

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