The legendary castigation of big, bouncy novels that lack humanity.
The Austere Land
June 22, 2012
THE LAST FOUR YEARS have created what economists call a “natural experiment” in economic policy. As a consequence of deregulation and globalization, Britain and the United States experienced the financial crisis of 2008 in much the same way. Large parts of the banking system collapsed and had to be rescued; the real economy went into a nosedive and had to be stimulated. But after 2010, the United States continued to stimulate its economy, while Britain chose the stonier path of austerity. The British are no more wedded to the idea of fiscal austerity than are the Americans.
December 15, 2006
It's hard not to laugh, or at least smile, when you see, say, Larry McMurtry give glowing praise to Gore Vidal's new memoir in the New York Review of Books. After all, this is the publication commonly known as the New York Review of Each Other's Books. But on the incestuous reviewing front, I was glad to see that National Review is giving NYRB a run for its money. In the latest issue, the first back-of-the-book essay heaps fawning praise on John O'Sullivan's new history of Reagan, Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II (all heroes of freedom, coincidentally).
The Winds of Windsorism
December 11, 1989
Prince Charles's war against Modern architecture.
TRB: Holy Mackerel, Safire
January 30, 1984
That lumbering beast, the Washington scandal, is awake again and growling to be fed. Dinner--trembling and cowering and looking very tasty--is to be Charles Z. Wick, head of the United States Information Agency. Flogging the beast vigorously to keep it enraged and hungry is William Safire, conservative columnist for The New York Times. Someone leaked Safire evidence that Wick had been tape-recording his phone calls. Confronted, Wick stupidly insisted that he had never recorded a conversation without telling the other pairty, then later admitted he sometimes had.