n+1 is launching a series of ebooks that will excerpt selections from their archives. First up, Bad Education, featuring a sampling of “the magazine’s best and crankiest writings about education,” with essays by Christian Lorentzen, Keith Gessen, Astra Taylor, and more.
In its heyday, The Baffler magazine was known mainly for two things: witty cultural criticism and an erratic publishing cycle. Due to an array of problems—most notably a fire in the office in 2001—one could never be sure when the next issue of the “journal that blunts the cutting edge” would arrive. But the revamped magazine is on a roll. The latest issue is going to come out on schedule later this month, and judging from some of the stories listed on their website (Heather Havrilesky on Girls, Chris Lehmann on the Washington Post, a special section on “the anticulture of higher education,” and the first publication of a 1972 Christopher Lasch novel), The Baffler has hit its stride again.
Here is the story of Lu Burke, a legendary New Yorker copy editor who was stern and secretive, liked to read Trollope and listen to Jazz, and donated a million dollars to a small public library—located at 100 Poverty Road—in her will.
At the NYRB blog, Garry Wills takes on Roberto Unger, a professor who taught Obama two classes at Harvard, and who has released a video denouncing his former student for not advancing a progressive enough agenda during his presidency. While Wills acknowledges that Unger’s principles are preferable to Obama’s actions, he argues that voters elect not a single leader, but rather the political party that nominated them. And he makes a stark case for the differences between the Democrats and Republicans, concluding, “Those who think there is no difference between the parties should look at the state that no longer elects any Democrats, the Texas described so well by Gail Collins, with its schools attacking evolution, its religious leaders denying there was ever any separation of church and state, and its cowboy code of justice.”
New York magazine has published a report on the alleged self-plagiarism of author Jonah Lehrer.