Not long before Margaret Thatcher’s intensely dramatic departure from office in November 1990, the veteran Conservative politician William Whitelaw was talking to Sir Robin Butler, recently appointed as Cabinet secretary, the most senior permanent official in the British government. As Charles Moore relates in Read originalRead More
Here is a show that looks at Emily Dickinson—one of the greatest poets in American literature, a woman infatuated with death and dying, queer and forced to hide or kill her own desires, a near-recluse for many years and dead at 55—and asks the question: What if Emily Dickinson was in fact 100% That Bitch? Its Emily believes that the gendered division of domestic labour is absolute “bullshit,” and that marriage is a prison.
In his essays and speeches over the years, Philip Pullman has argued that fantasy stories have the power to change their audience and remake the world. His own stories are certainly getting a chance to try. The author of His Dark Materials, the beloved British fantasy trilogy about the adventures of the preteen heroine Lyra Belacqua, was knighted in May for his services to literature. Then, in early October, he published Read originalRead More
Before the smoke had cleared after the terrorist attacks of September 11, Americans were already asking, “Why do they hate us?” The question felt useless, even whiny. It was also unanswerable, since “our” specific attackers were dead. Yet it persisted. It persisted because of a sense that even with those particular haters gone, the hate itself was lethal, and whoever “they” had been, there was plenty more in store for “us.Read More
For centuries information was scarce. The math was simple: The higher up the societal food chain you were, the better the information you had. And it could be explosive. Information made Microsoft and it brought down Richard Nixon. It helped us navigate the globe and it feeds the Facebook algorithm.
John Rawls, who died in 2002, was the most influential American philosopher of the twentieth century. His great work, A Theory of Justice, appeared in 1971 and defined the field of political philosophy for generations. It set out standards for a just society in the form of two principles.
Every American grocery store sells a mountain of stuff bearing the dubious label “green”: sugarcane toilet paper, reusable straws, recycled Nestlé water bottles. Green is the color of solar energy and the Green New Deal, but even some luxury sports car companies claim that they, too, are green.
Deborah Levy’s The Man Who Saw Everything begins with a subtle instant of subversion. It is September 1988 and a 28-year-old man named Saul Adler has come to London’s Abbey Road to have his photo taken at the zebra crossing where the Beatles posed for their iconic album cover. The site has been a tourist destination for years.
Condé Nast was actually a person—a fact that might come as a surprise to readers who know the name only from the magazine publishing corporation, a company so monumental that it’s practically synonymous with twentieth-century periodicals. The man who established the high-end glossy Read originalRead More