Why So Many Climate-Skeptic Weathermen?
January 07, 2010

Charles Homans has a great piece in the Columbia Journalism Review this month asking why so many TV weathermen—a wildly disproportionate number of them, in fact—refuse to believe in man-made climate change. One possibility is that many of them mistakenly think that climate science is just like predicting the weather, and if the latter's such a crapshoot, the former must be, too: Meteorologists live in the short term, the day-to-day forecast.

Edmund Wilson at TNR
January 01, 2010

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously called Wilson his "intellectual conscience," and some considered him the twentieth century's preeminent man of letters. From his perch as TNR's literary editor, and then as a roving correspondent, critic Edmund Wilson was in large part responsible for the introduction of literary modernism to American culture.

The Roots of Joe Wilson's Rage
September 11, 2009

Nicely explained by Lacy K. Ford, the chair of the University of South Carolina history department, on the NYT's Room for Debate blog. The rage of Wilson and other South Carolina Republicans is what happens when the majority party in a one-party state realizes it's the minority party in the rest of the nation: Republicans confident of their power at home suddenly grew very testy when confronted with impotence on the national stage. As the elections of 2008 swept large Democratic majorities into the U.S..

Glenn Beck's Thoughtful Health Care Discussion
August 13, 2009

Riiiiiiiight. So here's how Beck set the tone for last night's "Health Care Special": Gentlemen, first of all, does anybody here believe eugenics is coming, building a master race? R.J. PESTRITTO, AUTHOR, 'WOODROW WILSON': No, sir. Absolutely not. BECK: No. OK, good. We're all clear on that. That's not what we're saying. Does anybody here think that Barack Obama wants to snuff out anybody's grandma? JOHN HOFF, FORMER HHAS OFFICIAL IN BUSH ADMINISTRATION: Absolutely not. BECK: OK. ... So this is going to be a calm, earnest discussion of the pros and cons of health care reform, got it? Good.

TNR's Founding Fathers Spectacular
July 03, 2009

Throughout its 95-year history, The New Republic has featured the work of countless renowned historians on America's founding fathers. For the Fourth of July, we dug up our best book reviews, historical essays, and mini-biographies on the founders. Here are some of the highlights: Charles A.

Will Shakespeare's Come And Gone: Does The Bard's Poetry Reach Us Like August Wilson's? Come On--really?
May 19, 2009

Reading the deserved critical huzzahs for the current production of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone has me thinking about a bee always in my bonnet.

The American Loneliness
December 03, 2008

Fitzgerald, eager to draw the shy, Yale-educated prep-school French teacher into his dashing retinue, arranged to have Wilder and Wilson picked up at the train station, but it was Marcel Proust who helped to smooth the way between them.

Martin In August
April 04, 2008

  Today is the fortieth anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination in Memphis. Of course, the cadre of Americans (or global citizens) who can still respond to the prompt, "Where were you…?" is shrinking and will soon enough be gone. I count myself among those who have no answer to the question. But as a shared piece of Americana, King's death is a fine point of departure for reflections on race in the nation that he left behind. Unfortunately, human responses to such a foundational myth are doomed to ordinariness.

Jackboots and Whole Foods
March 12, 2008

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning By Jonah Goldberg (Doubleday, 496 pp., $27.95) In graduate school I had a professor, a famous Marxist, who devoted a significant portion of a lecture to the subject of artifacts.

Alternate Realities
May 13, 2007

by Richard Stern In his wonderful post about the theme of personal authenticity through acceptance of one's blackness in Radio Golf, the last of the late August Wilson's remarkable ten-play cycle, John McWhorter writes As much as I have loved so many of Wilson's plays, I do not accept that the life I lead is unreal, inauthentic, or broken. Our vegetable garden is authentic, and I do not water my cucumbers because I wish I was white. My life is authentic. It is authentic to me...