Utopianism is as much an enunciation of a better world as it is an enactment of one. Benjamin Kunkel's Utopia or Bust, a guide to several of the master theoreticians of the left, helps us believe in a future alternative to our present.
A meticulous exposť of the meat industry, The Meat Racket is about more than just how big companies are ruining rural farmers. It's also more than another installment in the stomach-churning saga of the industrialization of our food supply. Christopher Leonard, whether he means to or not, is telling a broader story about American business, consumerism, and—most of all—greed.
One of my favorite moments in Cubed, Nikil Saval’s lush, funny, and unexpectedly fascinating history of the workplace, comes in a chapter called “The Birth of the Office,” in which the author describes the insane yet rampant “efficiency” craze that began to sweep the nation in 1900. One of
In Young Money, Kevin Roose investigates why young people still seek jobs on Wall Street even after the crash of 2008 revealed it to be a seeping moral gutter. Roose, a writer for New York magazine, is something of a specialist in reporting on publicity-averse subcultures. In 2009, he published an
Who gets to be funny and who gets made fun of? Americans never get tired of that question. At least, we Americans in the think-piece-writing business don’t. Are women funny? Are fat jokes cruel playground humor or legitimate satire in an increasingly unfit culture? Did that comic you’ve never
In Dragnet Nation, Julia Angwin spends a year trying to communicate digitally without being snooped on by the NSA, Google, and all the many other powerful institutions that have worked their way into our online lives. As she discovers, it isn't easy.
These days the island of Más Afuera—five hundred miles west of Santiago, Chile—may be known only as the place Jonathan Franzen went to spread the ashes of David Foster Wallace, as recounted in a 2011 essay in the New Yorker. But in March 1800, Amasa Delano, a ship's captain from New England, arrived
It is the unfortunate fate of many women of a certain period to be recalled not as individuals but as "flappers," a word that seems, to modern chroniclers, a nearly irresistible invitation to a morality tale. A woman of the 1920s might refuse domesticity without consequence; a flapper, on the other
The Everything Store, Brad Stone's reverential biography of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, isn't a book you should feel obliged to read. It doesn't bristle with character development, narrative arc, or unexpected lessons.