Thinking in Common

Thinking in Common

The great critic and essayist Irving Howe laid claim to a great many decayed traditions – and then elevated them all to high art. A new collection of his prose presents some of his gems.

I Think We’re Alone Now

I Think We’re Alone Now

Two poetry volumes – one concerned with how to be ourselves, alone, inside, the other concerned with making multifacted connections with external reality – are reviewed in a gentle dialogue with each other.

Stop Their World Spinning

Stop Their World Spinning

Against a pervasive American sports culture, author Steve Allmond pits a devastating critique of the savage violence – and staggering toll in injuries and deaths – of football.

Title Menu: A list of great political books that doesn’t include What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer

Title Menu: A list of great political books that doesn’t include <em>What It Takes</em> by Richard Ben Cramer

Just in time for the November midterm elections, we do what doubters said couldn’t be done: we present you with a list of ten great political books that doesn’t include Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes.

The Attempt to See

The Attempt to See

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Marilynne Robinson returns to small-town Iowa in this new novel full of deceptive calms and clear mastery.

More Faith, Better Grounded

More Faith, Better Grounded

A reissue of James Agee’s letters to Father Flye give a picture of the writer’s naked ambition, excoriating self-hatred, and unrefined genius. But it also raises the question: Do we remember Agee more for what he wrote or what his addictions prevented him from writing?

An Unfolding Elegy

An Unfolding Elegy

When sudden death claimed poet Jake Adam York at the age of 40, it cut short his life’s work of commemorating all the martyrs of the American Civil Rights movement; Teow Lim Goh re-reads the man and his work.

The Book of Abraham

The Book of Abraham

Veteran historian Brookhiser takes a look at the formative influences on Abraham Lincoln – not so much his own father as the Founding Fathers.

It’s a Mystery: “Forgive your enemies but never forget their names”

It’s a Mystery:  “Forgive your enemies but never forget their names”

Felix Francis continues to artfully follow in his late father’s footsteps with his newest thriller, Dick Francis’s Damage. The Button Man, Mark Pryor’s fourth Hugo Marston novel, is a prequel that adds a fascinating dimension to the highly charismatic protagonist of this splendid series.

From the Archives: A Certain Perturbation

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In Absence of Mind, Marilynne Robinson explores both the dynamics of faith and the complacency of recent anti-faith screeds. But is her own book something of a fall from grace?

From the Archives: Why James Agee Still Matters

From the Archives: Why James Agee Still Matters

John Updike once affably damned James Agee as a wasted talent who failed to cultivate his craft. Liza Birnbaum replies with a defense of the glories of Agee’s ragged, heartfelt work.

From the Archives: Truth be Told: On Natasha Trethewey

From the Archives: Truth be Told: On Natasha Trethewey

Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway mines American history–the early colonies, slavery, the Civil War–for the material of her poetry. Teow Lim Goh visits with the figures she’s brought back to life.