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Rancher Rebels

From the Aug/Sept 2021 Print Edition

At a time when most of the news on television is at some level fake, the 2014 standoff at the Bundy ranch in Nevada stood out as a real event. Here was no pseudo-­spectacle thrown together for the cameras. Cliven Bundy, a Mormon rancher in Nevada, had a real quarrel with the Bureau of Land . . . . Continue Reading »

Benevolent Autocrat

From the February 2021 Print Edition

The sinister character ­Salazar Slytherin, of Harry Potter fame, was named after Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, prime minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968, whom J. K. Rowling had learned to revile during her two years living in Porto in the early nineties. By contrast, the American . . . . Continue Reading »

Marriage of Genius

From the March 2020 Print Edition

In the summer of 1970, Elizabeth Hardwick may have been the best nonfiction prose writer in America, just as Jim Hines was the fastest man alive and Joe Frazier was the heavyweight champion of the world. She was the queen mother of the New York Review of Books, one of its four cofounders and . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Socialist Moment

From the Aug/Sept 2019 Print Edition

The Socialist Manifesto:  The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality by bhaskar sunkara basic, 288 pages, $28 In the spring of 2019, even the staid old AFL-CIO began to dabble in guillotine imagery. The occasion was a dispute between Delta and the International Association of . . . . Continue Reading »

Shame Storm

From the January 2019 Print Edition

After a lifetime of impeccably correct opinions, Ian Buruma found himself on the wrong side of the liberal consensus in September 2018, when he was forced to resign as editor of the New York Review of Books for having commissioned a piece called “Reflections from a Hashtag” from the . . . . Continue Reading »

Poet in History

From the January 2018 Print Edition

Miłosz: A Biographyby andrzej franaszektranslated by aleksandra parker and michael parkerbelknap, 544 pages, $35 The impression left in the mind of an American reader, after he finishes Andrzej Franaszek’s exhaustive new biography of Czesław Miłosz, is the absurdity that this man was ever . . . . Continue Reading »

Saint Louverture

From the March 2017 Print Edition

Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Lifeby philippe girardbasic books, 352 pages, $29.99The Virginia planter and Fire-Eater Edmund Ruffin, who in 1865 blew his brains out rather than live under Yankee rule, called Toussaint Louverture “the only truly great man yet known of the negro race.” In . . . . Continue Reading »