Culture

Have Literary Prizes Lost Their Meaning? (Have They Ever Had Any?)

Cultural prizes notoriously reward the wrong works for the wrong reasons: On the long list of worthies deprived of the Nobel for literature are Tolstoy, Proust, and Joyce.

The Brothers Koch: Family Drama and Disdain for Democracy

Lawsuits are the billionaire brothers’ weapon of choice—against each other—writes Daniel Schulman in his first-rate new bio. But buying our democracy, and maybe killing it, is pure self-interest.

Hipster Vampires in the Ruins of Motor City

While the latest offering from director Jim Jarmusch may be about blood-sucking bohemians, it's really a lament for the vanishing culture of the Beat Generation and mid-century rock and roll.

The Clear-Eyed Utopianism of Ellen Willis

One of her work's most salutary effects is its reminder that to cut yourself off from utopian impulses is to die a little.

Cannes Looks a Lot Like Hollywood: The Power Belongs to Men

At the glamorous French film festival, as at the Oscars, women directors are hard to find. 

In Defense of Star Wars

There's a growing backlash against the sci-fi flick, and the critiques aren't necessarily wrong. But you have to understand it in the context of its time.

Jack Bauer Lives Another Day. The Question Is: 'Why?'

Why has Fox's pro-torture, 24 TV series not been put out of our misery?

I'm Over "Mad Men"

A TV series can only toy with profundity—and not deliver—for so long before the whole thing starts to feel like a shell game.

Too Big to Fail. Not Too Strong.

Nomi Prins’s new book traces America’s propping up of banks since the robber barons.

A Song for Gabriel García Márquez--and the Rest of Us

One Hundred Years of Solitude didn’t just crystalize who García Márquez was; it crystalized who I was.

Karl Polanyi Explains It All

Want to understand our market-crazed era? Rediscover the 20th century’s most prophetic critic of capitalism.  

How John Paul Stevens Would Amend the Constitution

The former Supreme Court justice has some suggestions for a better democracy in his new book.

Stephen Colbert Isn't the Only One With a Fictional Character

If you hear a conservative complaining about Colbert replacing Letterman, he's probably just pretending.

Why Reading Globally Matters

The case for breaking our parochial American reading habits.

Francois Mitterrand, the Man with a Plan

A new biography of the former president of France examines the man's setbacks, gambles, and pragmatic self-reinventions.

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