Though the cultural history of the United States in the first half of the twentieth century is in large part a tale of immigrants, Robert Frank’s rise to prominence as a quintessentially American photographer and his creation of one of the best-known photographic accounts of American life is in
In 1982, smack in the middle of cold-war angst, Semiotext(e) founder Sylvère Lotringer interviewed architect and philosopher Paul Virilio about nuclear war and technology. Their densely layered dialogue was published the following year as Pure War, which introduced Virilio’s thinking to the United
If two mirrors are turned face-to-face, each will reflect the other’s reflection of itself, and so on. Thus is generated (at least in theory) an image that resembles a tunnel going on forever—albeit to nowhere in particular. In practice, of course, there are limits to just how far this regress
Earlier this decade, Jeff Sharlet moved in with a group of men in a Christian community called Ivanwald. Together, they lived in a nondescript house in suburban Washington, DC, that was run by a group that called itself the Family. On the surface, the place seemed harmless enough—blending the
"An outbreak, like a story, should have a coherent plot.” That comment, from a well-known virologist, could easily serve as epigram or foil to Contagious, Priscilla Wald’s critique of the stories that the media and the medical profession have constructed about disease outbreaks from typhoid to
One-third of the way into Japan scholar Donald Keene’s slim, modest memoir, he recounts the predicament faced by his Japanese professor at Columbia University in the years following World War II. The professor was depressed by Japan’s defeat, Keene writes, “but he probably would have been
The preeminent story of our time will not be the occupation of Iraq or the war on terror, but the shift of economic, technological, and geopolitical power to the East—specifically, China. Newspaper editors have coined a name for this story—“the rise of China”—but that’s not quite right.