This is a study of how authority maintains authority—and of how the subjugated stay subjugated, in ways spoken and unspoken. Oppressive structure exists not just as a matter of corporate policy but in the very architecture of the workplace—the physical boundaries within which the business of business is carried out. The genius of Cubed is that Saval recognizes the mood of barely controlled panic that suffuses most American offices, and tracks it through every element of the overmanaged, time-sucking, and keystroke-counting world of work.
What's surprising in the photographs of August Sander is that it's not only the clothes and hair—which change most noticeably over the years—that seem solidified in the past; the faces, too, are stuck like fossils in the geology of time. People just don't look like this anymore. There are, at the risk of sounding silly, no proto-dudes or babes here.
Two books exploring England's master-servant divide suggest the ways in which servants were at once tirelessly kept in their place and capable of transcending it, standing in for figures other than themselves.
Unsystematic searching, idiosyncratic linking: These are valuable as ever but harder to get to now. To the challenge of making imaginative connections has been added the challenge of making them visibly our own, off the preprogrammed, data-mined, hyperlinked grid.
There are two types of nonbelievers in the world: those who were raised without religion and stayed firmly in the realm of the godless, and those who were brought up with religion and rejected it. In some ways, the journalist and essayist Barbara Ehrenreich, who was raised an atheist and educated as a scientist, is the ideal guide for nonreligious people through the world of the spiritual, or at least the inexplicable.
The writing of Lynne Tillman feels free. Unruly, personal, and provocative, it's also freeing for the reader. Tillman's new collection includes essays (and interviews) on a wide range of topics, ordered like an alphabet book, A to Z. The table of contents points to the author's versatility and prolific output—really, isn't the question what wouldn't Lynne Tillman do?
FOR ANYONE who has spent several years covering, or even just reading up on, climate change, an inevitable question arises: How can you write something new? So many images—stranded polar bears, shrinking ice caps, rising seas—have grown so clichéd that it’s become hard to convey global warming’s
LAST SPRING, A THIRTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD COLLEGE DROPOUT–TURNED–ENERGY EXECUTIVE named Billy Parish came to talk to my journalism class at Vanderbilt University. The course focused on climate reporting, and Parish had recently been profiled in Fortune magazine as a young virtuoso in the solar industry.
According to New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert, we're heading for a sixth extinction, which she characterizes as "the amazing moment that to us counts as the present, [when] we are deciding, without quite meaning to, which evolutionary pathways will remain open and which will forever be closed."
The known risks of laughter, according to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, include dislocated jaws, cardiac arrhythmia, urinary incontinence, emphysema, and spontaneous perforation of the esophagus. None of this, I suspect, will be news to readers of Lorrie Moore, who has never taken laughter lightly. In her work, humor is always costly and fanged.