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Omnivore

Conspiracy of the plutocrats

Joseph Fishkin and William E. Forbath (Texas): The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution. Nathan J. Kelly (Tennessee) and Thomas Volscho (CUNY): The Politics of Oligarchy: Taxation, Financial Regulation, Power Resources, and the Super-Rich in the United States, 1918-2012. The last time fatcats tanked the economy, the backlash was huge — why didn't that happen this time? John B. Judis on explaining the power of 21st century plutocracy. In today’s America, a rising tide lifts all yachts. From Salon, free


Paper Trail

Jeb Lund picks on Ed Klein’s new book about the Clintons, Blood Feud—specifically, Klein’s calling attention to Hillary’s swearing: “Utilizing someone’s occasional profanity as the basis of a character attack is up there with a sinister ad voiceover saying, Candidate John Cussbrother uses toilets.” Former judge Stuart Kelly makes predictions for the Man Booker prize

Syllabi

Weird Sex

Vanessa RovetoThere's good sex and there's bad sex. And then there's weird sex—a Freudian purgatory that somehow neither stimulates the libido nor inhibits it. In art and life, we're inclined to seek out pleasure

Daily Review

Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life

William Deresiewicz begins his blistering, arm-waving jeremiad against Ivy League colleges and their dozens of emulators, which are creating a caste that is ruining itself and society, with the insistence that the book is a letter to his twenty-year-old self.

Interviews

William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann's latest story collection considers death from a variety of perspectives, veering from realistic to supernatural, from reportage-like writing to the ghost story. Bookforum talks with the author about his new book, his FBI files, his ongoing research of coal mines and the environment, and his female persona, Delores.

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Onora O'Neill: What we don't understand about trust

Excerpt

F for Fake

Brian Dillon

What exactly do we mean when we call an artist or writer a charlatan? What manner of truth is in question? Assuredly, an artistic or literary charlatan is not merely a fraud, a forger, or an impostor. Such quasi-criminal categories have their own clear-cut logic: The perpetrator either is or isn't what he purports to be. But an accusation of charlatanry points to something far more fundamental than a simple waywardness with the facts.

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