The Missing Pieces to Avoid a Climate Disaster

Mar 25, 2021

After stepping down as Microsoft CEO in 2000, Bill Gates gradually shifted his focus to the operations of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which set out to improve global health and development, as well as education in the US. Partially through his role with the foundation, Gates came to...

To End Violence, Act as if Lives Matter
Jan 29, 2021

To End Violence, Act as if Lives Matter

Civilization’s Swift Move Toward Outer Space
Jan 29, 2021

Civilization’s Swift Move Toward Outer Space

Of Hobbits and Tigers: The Unlikely Heroes of Italy’s Radical Right
Dec 23, 2020

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

The Rapper Breaking Down Borders With Dreams

The Rapper Breaking Down Borders With Dreams

Dec 03, 2020

British rapper and spoken-word artist Potent Whisper is known for his socially conscious rhyming guides that have broken down the world's problems into three-to-five-minute explainers. Over the last few years, his projects have included a lauded book, “The Rhyming Guide to Grenfell Britain,”...

The Dazzling Shallowness of Bernard-Henri Levy

The Dazzling Shallowness of Bernard-Henri Levy

Nov 25, 2020

One of the attractions, or oddities, of France is its reverence of those who are regarded as philosophers, or at least philosophical thinkers. In the age of fast information, we also have fast philosophy — soundbite philosophy. Not that this has no value, but this value has to be abstracted from...

Talking About FGM: How a Novel Made Me Braver

Talking About FGM: How a Novel Made Me Braver

Nov 20, 2020

For an entire year before my novel’s publication date, I braced myself. I’ve never felt this way about a new novel’s birth. But “Seven” — about Sharifa, a 40-year-old woman who returns to India on a marriage-saving trip to research a revered ancestor — was different. Folded into...

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...

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