Of Hobbits and Tigers: The Unlikely Heroes of Italy's Radical Right

Dec 23, 2020

June 23, 1980: After the assassination of magistrate Mario Amato by Italian right-wing terrorists, an anonymous group published a leaflet endorsing the murder: “To the members of the ‘Great Fascist Organizations’ we say: Fuck off, you never achieved anything and never will; … you are...

The Rapper Breaking Down Borders With Dreams
Dec 03, 2020

The Rapper Breaking Down Borders With Dreams

The Dazzling Shallowness of Bernard-Henri Levy
Nov 25, 2020

The Dazzling Shallowness of Bernard-Henri Levy

Talking About FGM: How a Novel Made Me Braver
Nov 20, 2020

Talking About FGM: How a Novel Made Me Braver

Star Trek vs. the Radical Right: Visions of a Better World

Star Trek vs. the Radical Right: Visions of a Better World

Oct 22, 2020

Science fiction has a long history of progressive politics. Probably the best-known example is the Star Trek franchise that started in the 1960s with an Asian helmsman, a navigator from Russia and a black woman as a communications officer and features non-binary and transgender characters in...

Warren Buffett’s Struggle With Class Struggle

Warren Buffett’s Struggle With Class Struggle

Oct 13, 2020

In his recently published book, “Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America,” Kurt Andersen examines and deconstructs the past 50 years of economic history in the US. He tells the story of a disastrous but well-orchestrated trend toward rising and aggravated income inequality that has permitted...

Do Romance Novels Offer an Outdated Model of Feminism?

Do Romance Novels Offer an Outdated Model of Feminism?

Oct 10, 2020

I am one among a relatively small number of men who for some time have been fascinated by romance novels. As is well known, romance novels are among the most popular genres in contemporary literature. The field represents a vast market, likely to have substantially grown over the past several...

Kashmir’s History and Future Meet in Literature

Kashmir’s History and Future Meet in Literature

Sep 24, 2020

For as long as one can remember, the stunningly beautiful valley of Kashmir has been a tinder box of clashing ideologies and religious beliefs. In the not too distant past, it was known as the land of Rishis, holy seers who combined the profound philosophies of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sufism to...

“Shantaram:” A Tale of Two Evils

“Shantaram:” A Tale of Two Evils

Aug 15, 2020

The trouble with “Shantaram,” the 2003 best-selling novel by Australian author David Gregory Roberts, is that it makes you wonder if it really is fiction. Paradoxically, too much credulity makes us incredulous. “Shantaram,” too incisive for non-fiction and too believable for fiction, is an...

Welcome to the Curiosity Economy

Welcome to the Curiosity Economy

Jul 27, 2020

In 1954, when television sets were just becoming widespread in American homes, Alfred Hitchcock made “Rear Window.” The film portrays L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries, a magazine photographer played by James Stewart, stuck at home in a wheelchair with a broken leg, whose only entertainment is gazing...

Susan Sontag: Overcoming Representation

Susan Sontag: Overcoming Representation

Jun 13, 2020

Susan Sontag died 16 years ago. Nothing about her has lost its salience. If there was one intellect that marked postwar America, it was hers. She had huge ambition, indeed vanity, and hoped to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. If she had, it would not have been for her novels — which are now...

The Parisian Becoming of Simone de Beauvoir

The Parisian Becoming of Simone de Beauvoir

May 16, 2020

Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir share the same grave in the Cemetière du Montparnasse — or rather, their ashes do — and every morning someone places a long-stemmed rose on their slab beside the cemetery wall. The legendary romance is thus renewed in the eyes of the daily visitors....

Max Weber’s Three Qualities for the Modern Politician

Max Weber’s Three Qualities for the Modern Politician

May 08, 2020

In January 1919, an invite to present a lecture was extended to a leading German intellectual and political theorist Max Weber. The young members of Munich University’s Free Students Union had requested that he elucidate himself on the “vocation” of politics, with the added subtext of...

The Truth Behind “The Plot Against America”

The Truth Behind “The Plot Against America”

Apr 30, 2020

Phillip Roth’s 2004 novel, “The Plot Against America,” has been made into a six-part TV series and shown recently on HBO in the United States and Great Britain. David Simon wrote the script for the television version and directed the production. Simon’s earlier credits include “The...

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