This year’s Republican National Convention, perhaps more than any previous one, brought incongruous segments of American society into close quarters. I didn’t have much in common with most of the people I met, but I did have one thing in common with the folks below: All of us were, in our own ways, outsiders. On
Last January, the chairman of the Republican National Committee tweeted: ‘It’s clear we’ve got the most well-qualified and diverse field of candidates from any party in history.’ Why, the world wonders, did they end up with Donald Trump as their nominee?
The 1.7-square-mile restricted “event zone” demarcating this year’s Republican Convention in Cleveland, which includes two smaller, even more restricted “security zones” managed by the Secret Service, would have once seemed out of place in the American landscape. Ideals of open mobility and equal access are written into the land by the Jeffersonian grid that organizes
My wife and I had settled in for a quiet Friday night. With all the recent madness in Istanbul—the bombings, the scapegoating, the reprisals, the anxiety, the melancholic farewells with friends who decided they can’t take it anymore, and the consolatory exchanges with others who feel the same way but have no avenue of egress—we
Heroin doesn’t sound like “heroine” by accident. The name for the drug derives from “hero,” or “heroes,” as in the late nineteenth-century soldiers on morphine who fought through their injuries and floated home. The same then-legal morphine was popular among women of the upper classes,
Jelani Cobb offers a stunning analysis of the facts and mysteries surrounding the death of Alton Sterling, an African American man who was shot by police. "The most vexing question is why the claim 'He's got a gun!' would culminate in the decision to use deadly force."
The breathtaking excellence of Proxies, poet Brian Blanchfield’s first collection of personal essays, is an urgent reminder of how shortsighted it would be to take identity politics as the sole measure of value in queer writing. Blanchfield—who is white, male, and gay—does not treat these
Intrigue abounds in reporter Barry Meier's account of the bizarre case of Robert Levinson, a sometime CIA contractor stranded in Iran without any official American recognition of his true whereabouts—or any pending hope of a Stateside return.
In the aftermath of the most deadly mass shooting in American history, the issue of gun regulation is once again in the news. Gun-rights advocates continue to invoke the Second Amendment as an obstacle to common-sense gun regulations. Supporters of gun-violence prevention dispute the advocates’ interpretation of the Second Amendment. Some have even suggested repealing
To outsiders, the basic facts of our gun plague, and the political dynamics that feed it, appear almost incomprehensible. America boasts more guns than any other nation, and its rate of gun fatalities far exceeds those of the industrialized democracies of Europe and of other common-law nations such as Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The resurgent gun debate pivots on a key question that has long preoccupied scholars of our gun culture: Why is the United States conspicuously alone on the global stage in its resistance to even minimal gun control?
There are no happy marriages in literary memoirs, and I pity whomever was foolish enough to marry a writer in the first place. Famous writers and their ex-spouses possess a variety of dubious stock traits. Husbands are deeply insecure narcissists rendered impotent when passed over for major awards. Wives possess an often lesser-respected talent, and