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Sentimental Frenzy

On the basis of a sixty-second clip, thousands of prominent Americans rushed to denounce the students of Covington Catholic High School. The students’ alleged crime was mobbing an American Indian activist named Nathan Phillips while wearing “Make America Great Again” caps. Respectable people . . . . Continue Reading »

A Gallery of American Dreams

Though only the first act of Denis Johnson’s Angels takes place in transit, the book has the feel of a road novel—specifically, an American road novel. The story is straightforward: Two people, Jamie Mays and Bill Houston, meet aboard a Greyhound. One is in flight from an unfaithful . . . . Continue Reading »

Melville in Manhattan

It should have been easy for Herman Melville to hate Manhattan—the “Babylonish brick-kilns of New York,” as he wrote Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1851. It was there in Manhattan he was born in 1819, at 6 Pearl Street, down by the Battery, while his ambitious, hard-driven father busily bankrupted . . . . Continue Reading »

The Haunted Mr. Hawthorne

Salem Is My Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne by edward haviland miller university of iowa press, 596 pages, $35 Jefferson’s public career focused on securing for Americans,” the historian Edmund S. Morgan has written, “a right of expatriation from the past.” This was a large . . . . Continue Reading »

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