Ruby-Strauss learned his craft working for the notorious Judith Regan, in whose shadow all lowbrow publishing still operates. In college at the University of California, Santa Cruz, he had been a comp-lit major who scoffed when friends talked up popular sci-fi books. “I was too pretentious,” he says. “I was reading Camus.” (A far way from that to Tucker Max, I noted. “Is it?” he replied.) Under Regan, he came to appreciate the simpler beauty of “books that sell.” He acquired a book by shock-rock star Marilyn Manson and then a series of pro-wrestling books, still his highest-selling titles ever. He once took Regan to a match, where he remembers her looking around the arena and declaring happily of the crowd, “You could sell them blank pages!”
(SLNewRepublic) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Oct 23, 2013 -
[Pinker] conflates scientific knowledge with knowledge as such. In his view, anybody who has studied any phenomena that are studied by science has been a scientist...If they were interested in the mind, then they were early versions of brain scientists. If they investigated human nature, then they were social psychologists or behavioral economists avant la lettre
. Leon Wieseltier pens a response
to Steven Pinker's essay
on scientism, both in the pages of the New Republic. Others
some prominent atheists
, have taken issue with Pinker as well.
posted by shivohum
on Sep 5, 2013 -
"A talented writer such as John Jeremiah Sullivan might, fifty years ago, have tried to explore his complicated feelings about the South, and about race and class in America, by writing fiction, following in the footsteps of Walker Percy and Eudora Welty. Instead he produced a book of essays, called Pulphead
, on the same themes; and the book was received with the kind of serious attention and critical acclaim that were once reserved for novels. But all is not as it seems. You do not have to read very far in the work of the new essayists to realize that the resurrection of the essay is in large measure a mirage
) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Feb 22, 2013 -
In December 2003, Brent Cambron gave himself his first injection of morphine. Save for the fact that he was sticking the needle into his own skin, the motion was familiar--almost rote. Over the course of the previous 17 months, as an anesthesia resident at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cambron had given hundreds of injections.
- Going Under
by Jason Zengerle of The New Republic [print version
] is heartbreaking article about the high rates of drug addiction among anesthesiologists. It tells the story of Brent Cambron and his spiral into addiction. His live was also sensitively chronicled in The Boston Globe by Keith O'Brien in Something, anything to stop the pain
]. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Jan 9, 2009 -
Are you a young middle-class creative type (probably white) who has chosen to live in an urban neighborhood that your parents would have shunned? Have the families that formerly lived in your neighborhood (probably not white) been pushed out by soaring rents and real-estate prices to the city fringes or suburbs? The New Republic
on demographic inversion
posted by digaman
on Aug 2, 2008 -
The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for a purge
of liberal and secular teachers from the country's universities. Now that this former rogue nation has fallen
, we can turn out attention to the real terrorist threat: Britain
posted by thirteenkiller
on Sep 5, 2006 -
Conservatism of faith v. conservatism of doubt-
take on how "fundamentalism is splitting the GOP." An interesting article that is, I think, worth reading for how it characterizes recent changes in the Republican party. He doesn't exaclty see a schism, but he isn't exactly sanguine about the future of the GOP either.
posted by OmieWise
on Apr 29, 2005 -
The notorious Laura (Riding) Jackson
, mistress and muse to Robert Graves, among others, is back with a new poem
in the New Republic last week. There's a new biography and a new anthology coming out too, but the best things to read are her tirades to the New York Review of Books in response to critiques of her work by Paul Auster
and Harry Matthews
posted by oldleada
on Feb 17, 2005 -
"It would be best
if the arrest or killing of [Osama bin Laden] were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July." During the first three days of the Democratic National Convention, the Bush administration offers The July Surprise
posted by four panels
on Jul 7, 2004 -
Dean can't carry the south.
The New Republic's Jonathan Chait writes in response to Dean's flag gaffe: "What's alarming here is not that Dean wants to win votes from guys with Confederate flags on their pickup trucks. It's that he thinks he actually can... His aggressive secularism, association with civil unions, and antiwar stance all make him culturally anathema in the South. This is one of the many, many reasons Dean would be squashed like a bug in the general election if nominated: Bush could take the South for granted, and concentrate all his resources on battleground states like Pennsylvania. "
posted by gregb1007
on Nov 9, 2003 -
Can Mercenaries Protect Hamid Karzai?
The US govt is hiring private mercenaries to do it's dirty work overseas. In short, by hiring private military contractors such as DynCorp, the U.S. government has found an effective way to conduct foreign policy by proxy and in secret. These proxies cannot be monitored, are effectively immune from all criminal sanctions, and are dangerously hard to control since they answer to corporate bosses, not military brass.
(easy registration required)
posted by Coop
on Nov 20, 2002 -
The Coming Democratic Dominance
"...ever since the collapse of the Reagan conservative majority, which enjoyed its final triumph in November 1994, American politics has been turning slowly, but inexorably, toward a new Democratic majority. It was evident in Al Gore's popular-vote victory in 2000 (made more significant by the overhang of the Bill Clinton scandals and Gore's ineptitude as a campaigner) and in Bush's and the Republicans' sinking fortunes in the first two-thirds of 2001. It was obscured by the patriotic rush of support for Bush after September 11, which to some extent carried over to the Republican Party as a whole. But it has resurfaced in recent months as Americans have turned their attention back to the economy and domestic policy and away from the war on terrorism. Far from being a temporary distraction from a long-term shift toward the GOP, popular anger at the business scandals and the plummeting Dow heralds the resumption of a long-term shift toward the Democrats. " (via george
posted by owillis
on Aug 1, 2002 -
A fascinating analysis
of the typological thinking that defined the historical outlook of the Jews for many centuries, and an explanation of why the Jewish people has the image of itself as that of a people forever on the verge of ceasing to be. But the bad is not always the worst. To prepare oneself for the bad without preparing oneself for the worst: This is the spiritual challenge of a liberal order.
posted by semmi
on May 19, 2002 -
The only moral and practical answer
that there has ever been to this question: partition, territorial compromise, a two-state solution, the establishment of a Palestinian state in most of the occupied territories with security arrangements in the Jordan Valley and identity arrangements in Jerusalem. An analysis that I can live with from The New Repuclic.
posted by semmi
on Apr 7, 2002 -
Just when you thought things couldn't get any more unsettling,
some of America's biggest radical racists glorify Al Qaeda's grit. "I wish our members had half as much testicular fortitude," says Billy Roper, a National Alliance official. White supremacists and Islamicists like Osama bin Laden just plain agree on a lot of things--in particular, that globalism and multiculturalism are the uber-enemies, and that separatism and cultural purity are the answer.
posted by semmi
on Nov 29, 2001 -
a New Republic
article that provides some background on Afghani politics and an interesting argument on the Taliban's weakness. Here's a provocative quote: In 1999, when the United States devastated Belgrade and humiliated Milosevic, the Serbs eventually ousted him. In 1991, when the United States devastated Baghdad and humiliated Saddam, the Kurds and Shiites rose up, and might have toppled the regime had the United States not abandoned them. Historical parallels, of course, are never perfect. But the Taliban are no stronger than those two previous U.S. foes; in fact, they are probably weaker.
posted by estopped
on Sep 22, 2001 -
So far, G-Dubya's first 100 or so days in office have been a media party. (What happened to all that liberal media bias Rush Limbaugh was talking about, anyway?) Is it time for the hangover?
Reporters are starting to realize that a photo-op at alternative fuels production facilities can't hide the fact that he's paying off his energy business cronies, that different skin colors and genders among Appeals Court nominees doesn't necessarily equal "diversity", and that Bush is generally not walking the walk for all his "compassionate Conservative" talk.
posted by RylandDotNet
on May 27, 2001 -
Bush's strategy: court the Catholics.
Bush won as high a percentage of church-going Catholics as did Reagan in 1984, as Reagan was winning 25% more votes than did Bush. There's a strong Catholic vote in many states Bush narrowly lost, suggesting that consolidating his Catholic edge could assure victory in 2004.
posted by MattD
on Apr 16, 2001 -