Articles by Robert Minto
Reiner Stach’s masterful, epic biography of Kafka is finally complete. Never has the man been less mysterious, but can it illuminate the confounding, beguiling mystery of his writing?
Boris Dralyuk’s new translation of Isaac Babel’s Odessa Tales brings its Jewish gangsters back to more vibrant life than ever. Robert Minto reviews.
An old book by a monk may be the best thing ever written about the practice of thinking. Robert Minto revisits The Intellectual Life.
In Moonstone, Icelandic author Sjón tells a story of 1918 Iceland through the longings and alienation of a sixteen-year-old orphan named Mani. Robert Minto reviews.
Stuart Jeffries has written the first truly accessible account of the Frankfurt School. Robert Minto reviews.
What exactly is a philosopher? As it turns out, that question may have more than one answer. Robert Minto shares the exciting results of Justin Smith’s new history.
The oldest texts can seem familiar, but they repay attention with strangeness. Robert Minto delves into the religious origins and unresolved mysteries of Prometheus Bound.
In an entertaining new study of Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir and company, the existentialist movement becomes a personality-driven piece of public performance.
John Berger’s writing on art often feels more dramatic than analytic, a passionate study of the unspoken transaction between artist and viewer. Robert Minto looks at Portraits.
Before he was a famous and controversial philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche was a young professor with a bone to pick. Robert Minto discusses his critique of higher education.
Ailing cultural critic Clive James turns in what may very well be his final collection of essays. Robert Minto reviews.
A collection of profiles of eight pivotal American literary men of the 20th century – Robert Minto reviews
A sumptuous new book studies the work of one of the English language’s greatest poets. Robert Minto reviews.
Biographer Zachary Leader takes his readers on a long, detailed tour of the first half of Saul Bellow’s life, and while those readers may be loving it, the critics have been complaining!
Sybille Bedford’s great novel – now in a pretty reprint from the New York Review of Books – has the sweep of Edward Gibbon and the emotional vitality of Jane Austen. Robert Minto takes a new look at a classic.
The “ecologies of attention and action” form the dynamic heart of philosopher Matthew Crawford’s new book. Robert Minto reviews.
He shaped the morals and manners of a vast country and put an indelible stamp on the world’s thinking, but he himself couldn’t get the job he wanted. Robert Minto reviews a new history of Confucianism.
A short new biography seeks to do the impossible: encompass the Protean life of Goethe in only a handful of pages. Robert Minto reviews.
A sumptuous new Library of America volume contains a rich sampling of the work of Reinhold Niebuhr – whom reviewer Robert Minto refers to as “the premiere establishment theologian of the 20th century.”
Jonathan Lethem’s latest book continues his project of combining the literary and the pulpy – Robert Minto reviews.
The incestuously-close relationship between a literary biographer and his subject lies at the heart of Hanif Kureishi’s new novel
On its schematic blueprints, the latest book by noted literary polymath Alberto Manguel is “about” Dante’s Divine Comedy – but as Robert Minto discovers, this author is at his best when he’s digressing.
Plato might be Western philosophy’s first great writer, but a new book argues we’ve mostly been reading him wrong.
“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work,” Woody Allen famously quipped; “I want to achieve immortality through not dying.” Robert Minto reviews a new book on what it takes to make it big in the literary afterlife
The great Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa claims he became a writer in order to annoy his father; his new novel takes up this age-old theme of the strife between fathers and sons.
In Jo Walton’s latest novel, the “just city” of Plato’s Republic is brought to life via Greek gods, robots, and a little discreet time travel
Sartre the man takes a distant back seat to Sartre the thinker in Thomas Flynn’s new intellectual biography
John Bunyan’s book-length religious allegory Pilgrim’s Progress strikes many of today’s readers as hopelessly hokey and tone-deaf – but it still has abundant power to change lives, as one passionate reader attests.
The author made immortal by the novel Dune also wrote a career’s worth of short stories. Robert Minto looks at the first-ever complete collection of those stories.
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.
Even before America entered the First World War, daring young Americans were taking to the skies over France, and during the war some of their exploits became legendary; a gripping new history tells the story of America’s first air war.
For millennia, the mighty tales in the epics of Homer have challenged and enthralled the world; a thought-provoking new book seeks to understand why.
England had been at war with France almost continuously since the Norman Conquest, but in the Hundred Years War, the conflict became especially heightened – and transformative. A new history tells the story as a rattling good yarn.
Before the headline-grabbing Tudor dynasty, England was ramped from end to end by an even greater and more terrible family of kings and queens. They were the mighty Plantagenets, and a new book tells their story
In the discipline of philosophy, “Aristotelian” evokes not just a school of thought but an entire world. “Ethics After Aristotle” traces the history and impact of the most influential thought-tradition of them all.