Nonfiction

RECENT REVIEWS

Varieties of Hatred

Varieties of Hatred

WHY DID THE Nazis kill the Jews? Nearly 70 years since the end of World War II, the causes and meaning of the Holocaust remain as high on historians’ agendas as ever. Over the years, a wide range o...

When a River Is a World: Twigger on the Nile

When a River Is a World: Twigger on the Nile

WHILE ON A HUNTING EXPEDITION in the Balkans in 1859, British explorer Samuel Baker made a stop — along with his travel companion, a maharaja from India — at a slave market town in what is now Bul...

Fatal Attraction: Love and Murder in Tennessee

Fatal Attraction: Love and Murder in Tennessee

WHEN SHE WAS 19, Alice Mitchell fell in love. She wanted to get married, but knew she would need a plan: first for securing her beloved with a proposal and engagement ring; then for working out the lo...

Muttnik: Canine Rocketeers in the USSR

Muttnik: Canine Rocketeers in the USSR

THE MISSILE HURTLED to its mark, a wilderness somewhere between the Moon and Moscow. A minute earlier, it had engulfed the Baikonur Cosmodrome in a kerosene inferno. Now the awestruck apparatchiks, th...

Evolution Between the Sofa Cushions

Evolution Between the Sofa Cushions

IMAGINE an insecticide-soaked mattress crawling with bedbugs. You now have a metaphor for the future of our relationship to the living world. In the second half of the 20th century, synthetic pesticid...

Chasing the Origins of Gonzo in South America

Chasing the Origins of Gonzo in South America

IN COLLEGE Brian Kevin read Hunter S. Thompson’s The Proud Highway, a collection of the gonzo’s letters from the 1950s and 1960s, including 18 from the year he spent traveling through South Americ...

Into the Wardrobe

Into the Wardrobe

IN THE J. Peterman catalog, launched in the late 1980s, fragments of whimsical fiction accompany breezy watercolor illustrations of every offering. For instance, “It’s early fall, just after dusk,...

The Lost and the Found

The Lost and the Found

IN THE FIRST chapter of Will Boast’s haunting memoir, Epilogue, we learn about his father’s death on a Wisconsin interstate from a ruptured ulcer that most likely had been killing him for days. D...

Bonhoeffer Co-Opted

Bonhoeffer Co-Opted

THE BIOGRAPHY of the German theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer has been a hot commodity since the publication of Eric Metaxas’s Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy in 2010. Metaxas pre...

Death Stories

Death Stories

TENT GIRL’S BODY was found by the side of the road in Sadieville, Kentucky, on May 17, 1968, tightly wrapped in a green canvas tarp. Her right hand was clenched and her fingernails were shattered, i...

Library in the Future Tense

Library in the Future Tense

 1. HIGH IN THE MOUNTAINS of South Korea sits one of the oldest intact libraries in the world, located in the Haeinsa Temple. Since 1398, it has preserved, on spare wooden shelves, the 81,258 print...

The News Is Born

The News Is Born

IT WAS IN the 1650s that English political theorist James Harrington described the “incomparable Venice” as the most perfectly governed state in history, even suggesting that it had surpassed anc...

The Journalist and the Victim

The Journalist and the Victim

WRITERS OF NONFICTION crime stories, as opposed to their counterparts in fiction, face a very specific problem: how to write about victims. In a murder case, by definition, you can never interview the...

Hidden Histories

Hidden Histories

THE RENEWED INTEREST in psychogeography over the last 15 years arguably has London as its main focus, and it’s easy to see why. The best-known practitioners of contemporary psychogeography (most not...