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The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism

The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism

THE MOST TELLING passage on anti-Semitism I have ever read was a short comment from Polish literary critic Konstanty Jeleński, first published in Kultura, Paris, 1968, reprinted several years ago in ...

Putting an End to It All: Understanding Suicide

Putting an End to It All: Understanding Suicide

THERE IS NO SHORTAGE of books on the topic of suicide. A favorite of mine is Sylvia, the novelist Leonard Michaels’ fictionalized memoir of the suicide of his ex-wife. Describing a scene in which he...

Who’s That Man?

Who’s That Man?

AMERICA UNDER THE PRESIDENCY of Barack Obama may seem to be a different planet from America under the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, but there are some similarities, including in the area of racial ...

Why the Pilgrims Wore Beer Goggles

Why the Pilgrims Wore Beer Goggles

SUSAN CHEEVER OPENS her book with a detail I don’t remember from any of my corny grade-school lessons about the Mayflower: the story of the Pilgrims landing at Cape Cod, in part, because they were r...

Imagining the “Other”

Imagining the “Other”

IN 1933, TURKISH NOVELIST Peyami Safa wrote an article in the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet voicing outrage about a German book, scheduled to be published that year in Turkish translation, on the magni...

From the Globe to the Brain and Back

From the Globe to the Brain and Back

FEW SUBJECTS SEEM, at first glance, as detached from historical study, or indeed from one another, as globalization and the neurosciences. Both have revolutionized our world, the former by forging dis...

The Peppery Napoleon Who Once Led China

The Peppery Napoleon Who Once Led China

AS XI JINPING prepares to visit the United States late this month, how should observers understand the Chinese leader and his goals for his country? Xi himself has made clear whom he sees as his prima...

Culture War: What Is It Good For?

Culture War: What Is It Good For?

IN THE PANTHEON of unexpected bestsellers, Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind surely warrants a place. “A book that included a seventy-page chapter titled ‘From Socrates’ Apology t...

Out of Their Country, Ahead of Their Time

Out of Their Country, Ahead of Their Time

IN DAUGHTERS OF THE SAMURAI, Janice P. Nimura achieves the elusive dream of the historian, producing a work that will engage and satisfy academic and non-specialist audiences alike. The author offers ...

How Cherokee Territory Became the “Deep South”

How Cherokee Territory Became the “Deep South”

ON THE MORNING of March 27, 1814, two men found themselves on opposite ends of a battlefield, with the Tallapoosa River and about 100 acres of Native American land between them. One was General Andrew...

Beyond the Shadow of Samuel Johnson

Beyond the Shadow of Samuel Johnson

“I WAS SURE I had genius, and was not deficient in easiness of expression, but was at a loss for something to say, and, when I set myself seriously to think of writing, that I wanted a subject.” S...

The Liar: The Four Personas of Adolf Eichmann

The Liar: The Four Personas of Adolf Eichmann

LIKE A FOSSIL preserved in amber, Adolf Eichmann has become fixed in popular memory as “The Man in the Glass Booth,” the Nazi kidnapped in Argentina to stand trial in Jerusalem. Although it was th...