Laura Kipnis is drawn to obsessive men, in particular obsessive men with bizarre or taboo obsessions. In place of theories, she assembles divergent examples of the form, a data set designed to flummox even the most determined essentializer.
Humans are easy to decapitate: Our large heads rest on little necks. Most mammals have thick muscles joining the shoulders with the base of the skull; ours are so slender that our spines show through the skin. It is the price tag of standing upright, of casting off the hominid hunch.
In order to make sense of the latest desperate failures of civil peace in Iraq, it's necessary to revisit the origins of the country's decade-long sectarian civil war—and to question the broad contours of the willfully obtuse ideological course that led to and sustained the initial US occupation.
“Normal” is forever a relative concept, but, as James K. Galbraith surmises in his ambitious new book, the taken-for-granted background conditions of mass prosperity in America seem increasingly to be a dead letter. The latest forecasts put the US economy on track to grow at an anemic 1.7 percent
For most of American history, progressives have not loved the Supreme Court. From abolitionists to labor reformers, critics have generally seen the court as a friend to those who own the country, not to the rest of us who merely live here.
With so much international attention focused on Gaza, it's finally occurring to many Americans and other Westerners that the region has its own history, and that this history is key to sorting out the present conflict. So in this sense, Jean-Pierre Filiu's Gaza: A History arrives at a propitious moment.
The poet and essayist Eula Biss first became interested in vaccination, the subject of her book On Immunity: An Inoculation, as a new mother taken aback by the anxieties her son’s birth provoked. When her son was born—in 2009, the same year that the H1N1 flu became pandemic—Biss “crossed over
A century ago, a woman who wanted to prevent or terminate a pregnancy had to exercise ingenuity. If she was fortunate, her partner could afford condoms (and was willing to use them), or she could buy a device called a Mizpah pessary, a proto-diaphragm sold under the guise of "womb support." More commonly, though, women douched with Lysol after sex, or, under more desperate circumstances, swallowed turpentine water, poked themselves with knitting needles, rolled down stairs, or hit their abdomens with a hammer.
The core disparity in childhood experience between the races has profound implications for middle-class black children. These children not only suffer from inadequate resources and crumbling schools; they also, unlike their white counterparts, have easy access to criminal networks that can send them abruptly into downward mobility.
With a nod to Elmore Leonard, Bad Paper seeks a bit of love for certain bad or not-so-nice people—the hundreds of debt collectors, some of them ex-cons, who chase down little old ladies on Social Security to cough up their last pennies to pay off the money they borrowed from the likes of Bank of America or Chase. But the marks aren't really paying off the banks. No, the banks long ago sold off these debts to debt buyers like the heroes of this picaresque nonfiction yarn: