, poet, author of Bullets and Opium
and former political prisoner, writes on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre.
My father died in the fall of 2002. At the last hour, he couldn’t speak any more, but he would fix his eyes on me, his son, the political prisoner. The police had searched me and taken me away in front of him many times. He died worried about me. Maybe in his last moments, when he couldn’t speak anymore, he still wanted to tell me not to provoke the Communist Party. Tank Man vanished into thin air—another proof my father was right.
posted by frimble
on Jun 4, 2014 -
Why We’re in a New Gilded Age
Paul Krugman reviews Capital in the Twenty-First Century
by Thomas Piketty, and discusses the renewal of the importance of capital in preserving inequality across generations.
posted by jaduncan
on Apr 15, 2014 -
Mark Danner has been writing a series in the New York Review Of Books
: Rumsfeld's War And Its Consequences Now
A bare two weeks after the attacks of September 11, at the end of a long and emotional day at the White House, a sixty-nine-year-old politician and businessman—a midwesterner, born of modest means but grown wealthy and prominent and powerful—returned to his enormous suite of offices on the seventh floor of the flood-lit and wounded Pentagon and, as was his habit, scrawled out a memorandum on his calendar:
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Feb 13, 2014 -
NSC mtg. with President—
As [it] ended he asked to see me alone…
After the meeting ended I went to Oval Office—He was alone
He was at his desk—
He talked about the meet
Then he said I want you to develop a plan to invade Ir[aq]. Do it outside the normal channels. Do it creatively so we don’t have to take so much cover [?]
On Breaking One's Neck
. Dr. Arnold Relman
, former Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, gives a first-hand account of a catastrophic accident, intensive care, and rehabilitation--as a patient. I am a senior physician with over six decades of experience who has observed his share of critical illness--but only from the doctor's perspective. That changed suddenly and disastrously on the morning of June 27, 2013, ten days after my ninetieth birthday, when I fell down the stairs in my home, broke my neck, and very nearly died. Since then, I have made an astonishing recovery, in the course of which I learned how it feels to be a helpless patient close to death. I also learned some things about the US medical care system that I had never fully appreciated, even though this is a subject that I have studied and written about for many years.
posted by russilwvong
on Jan 19, 2014 -
In February 1963
, a new publication
took advantage of the New York City printers strike and launched with a daring editorial
: It does not, however, seek merely to fill the gap created by the printers’ strike in New York City but to take the opportunity which the strike has presented to publish the sort of literary journal which the editors and contributors feel is needed in America.
The New York Review of Books
is now 50
. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher
on Oct 21, 2013 -
When we were little, Jaime and I were so much alike that even our lord father could not tell us apart. Sometimes as a lark we would dress in each other’s clothes and spend a whole day each as the other. Yet even so, when Jaime was given his first sword, there was none for me. “What do I get?” I remember asking. We were so much alike, I could never understand why they treated us so differently. Jaime learned to fight with sword and lance and mace, while I was taught to smile and sing and please. He was heir to Casterly Rock, while I was to be sold to some stranger like a horse, to be ridden whenever my new owner liked, beaten whenever he liked, and cast aside in time for a younger filly. Jaime’s lot was to be glory and power, while mine was birth and moonblood.
Daniel Mendelsohn in the New York Review of Books on the Song of Ice and Fire as feminist epic
posted by grobstein
on Oct 18, 2013 -
By late May, more than ten million copies of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy, an erotic romance series about the sexual exploits of a domineering billionaire and an inexperienced coed, had been sold in the United States, all within six weeks of the books’ publication here. This apparently unprecedented achievement occurred without the benefit of a publicity campaign, formal reviews, or Oprah’s blessing, owing to a reputation established, as one industry analyst put it, “totally through word of mouth.”
[Grey Area: How ‘Fifty Shades’ Dominated the Market
posted by vidur
on Jul 30, 2012 -
'The writing is extremely weak, the plotting haphazard and often preposterous, the characterizations shallow and sometimes incoherent; its attitude toward the past is glib and its self-positioning in the present is unattractively smug; the acting is, almost without exception, bland and sometimes amateurish.' Daniel Mendelsohn dislikes Mad Men
posted by verstegan
on Feb 4, 2011 -
Are today’s ‘Barbary Pirates’ (i.e., Somalis engaging in high seas piracy) able accurately to be so-labeled? Not according to The New York Times East Africa bureau chief, Jeffrey Gettleman, and for several good reasons, presented in the current NYRB
. [more inside]
posted by JL Sadstone
on Oct 8, 2010 -
, beloved caricaturist for several publications, but most notably for the New York Review of Books
last Tuesday at age 83 due to complications of prostate cancer. Since 1963, he contributed over 3,800 caricatures for the magazine, which prominently featured his drawings in promotional material. You can look at over 2,500 of his drawings here
, review his website featuring his painting here
, and see him interviewed here
Toward the end of his life, his vision failed due to macular degeneration and his relationship with the magazine became somewhat strained
. Upon his death, the magazine noted that he was, simply, "the greatest caricaturist of his time." [more inside]
posted by pasici
on Jan 1, 2010 -
Nabokov, Meet 50 Cent: Zadie Smith's Changing My Mind.
"Those who have been paying attention to Zadie Smith since her White Teeth debut likely already know about her affinities for E.M. Forster, Lil Wayne, George Eliot, Kafka, and Fawlty Towers. She's one of probably three working writers capable of smuggling a riff on the perils of "keeping it real" into The New York Review of Books."
posted by geoff.
on Nov 11, 2009 -
Max Rodenbeck reviews a new collection of Osama bin Laden's speeches
and a biography by Peter Bergen. David Cole discusses the US side of the conflict, reviewing the latest book by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon
: "--when it comes to fighting the decentralized threat of fundamentalist Islamic terrorism, Benjamin and Simon maintain, the best defense is not a good offense, but a good defense." More on al-Qaeda: Rodenbeck
posted by russilwvong
on Feb 24, 2006 -
How To Get Ahead.
"In this, the high summer of the great conservative revolt, no one, whatever his past political aberrations, can remain unaffected. I am not. Accordingly, I am here offering, also in a great conservative tradition, advice and counsel to the young—advice and counsel on how to get ahead in an ideologically restructured world. I propose to tell you, graduates of the class of [...]
, how now to proceed if you wish the acclaim and goodwill as well as the income of your fellow men. The advice I offer I do not find wholly acceptable for myself. But that too is in a great tradition of advice to the young".
John Kenneth Galbraith
, from an Address to the Yale Graduating Class, 1979. (more inside)
posted by matteo
on May 11, 2005 -
David Garland's disturbing new book addresses the question why there are so many more people in jail in America and Britain than anywhere else... Its broader concern is with "cultures of control," how societies treat deviance and violence and whom they single out for what treatment. Here are some facts about skyrocketing imprisonment... There are approximately two million people in jail in America today, 2,166,260 at last count: more than four times as many people as thirty years ago. It is the largest number in our history... [and] between four and ten times the incarceration rate of any civilized country in the world... Twelve percent of African-American men between twenty and thirty-four are currently behind bars (the highest figure ever recorded by the Justice Department) compared to 1.6 percent of white men of comparable ages. And according to the same source, 28 percent of black men will be sent to jail in their lifetime... It was not until crime rates had already leveled off that incarceration rates began their steady, year-by-year climb. Between 1972 and 1992, while the population of America's prisons grew and grew, the crime rate as a whole continued at the same level, unchanged.
Jerome S. Bruner reviews The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society
for The New York Review of Books
, as does Austin Sarat
in the American Prospect
posted by y2karl
on Sep 18, 2003 -
When Most Of The Reviews (And Indeed Books) Are Long Since Forgotten,
David Levine's extraordinary portraits of the public figures and obsessions of the last 40 years will stand as a lasting impression of our literary and political lions, masters, avatars and bugbears. The generous and ever essential New York Review of Books
offers us a complete and fully searchable gallery of the great caricaturist's work since its first issue hit the stands back in 1963 - almost 2,000 cartoons in all. It's fascinating to trace the sequence and evolution of Levine's drawings through the years of particular figures: Nabokov
, for instance.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on May 29, 2003 -
Over the last few years, Tony Judt
has been writing some brilliant commentary on the world political situation in the NYRB. His latest
is one of the best pieces I’ve read for ages. Sanity, reason, non-shrillness, etc – and it’s only the first of three articles.
posted by Mocata
on Mar 17, 2003 -