A writer who actively resists categorization these days might seem to be deliberately flouting common sense. Writing is a lame-duck art form at best, since readers go for data, preferably without having to chop their way through encroaching idiosyncrasies such as style. For all we know, the pursuit
It's rare that anything of substance comes out of the Aspen Ideas Festival, that annual orgy of techno-triumphalism and political self-seriousness, the bastard child of Davos and TED. But something odd happened when Eric Schmidt, until recently the CEO of Google, appeared at the high-powered mogul
In our zeal for artificial light, we have forgotten the consolation of darkness—we have whitewashed the night, erased the Milky Way, and forsaken the moon. When British author James Attlee envisioned a book about moonlight, his inspiration "was not the moon at all but an absence of moon," he writes.
Ancient egypt has been misunderstood since Herodotus put pen to papyrus in the fifth century B.C., though its appeal has never flagged. Exhibitions of Egyptian artifacts still draw large crowds at museums, and the "documentaries" on cable channels continue to flood in. But much of this attention
I haven't had sex since starting Deborah Lutz's book, Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism. Now that I've finished, I'm still in recovery. It's only fair, you say, to look for other causes, but, I'm sorry, the correlation is too strong. These interwoven tales of Victorian high
My life has been shaped by the aftermath of a revolution gone bad. I was born in 1979 to Iranian revolutionaries, and when we were growing up my mother characterized the days after the Shah's ouster as generally euphoric. Many protesters felt that finally democracy was close, she said. After the
This book, which was featured on the front page of The New York Times Book Review, comes recommended by some famous Big Thinkers. It is written by well-regarded professors (one of them the chairman of the Harvard philosophy department). This made me rub my eyes with astonishment as I read the book
"Modigliani should have been the father of a family. He was kind, constant, correct, and considerate: a bourgeois Jew." The English painter C.R.W. Nevinson, who rendered this verdict, knew full well that these were not the first adjectives that would spring to most people's minds to describe Amedeo
In 1990, as the culture wars that had already maimed Robert Mapplethorpe and David Wojnarowicz (not, as recent events at the National Portrait Gallery made clear, for the last time) were hitting a fevered crescendo, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts vetoed four performance grants.
Ronald Reagan dominated his era as no president had since Roosevelt and as no president has again. Today, he's endlessly lionized as the man who pulled the country out of its economic death spiral and won the cold war for the free world. Is it possible to produce a useful political history of the