I wanted it to be what we call a “memoir of madness,” like Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind. In fact, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. How were you able to overcome these? Coleman’s Bipolar Faith. But this is where they came from, and everybody’s trying to do better than they got. But she knows God. I try to teach a faith that liberates, whether I’m in the classroom or in the pulpit or blogging. [Laughs.] I’m from here, so how is it you think it’s cool? Our bookshelves were filled with African-American history and literature, and when I went to theRead More →

They’re both populist. We can get them to do anything, so what should we get them to do?” I think what gets me frustrated is basically that we’ve allowed our imaginations to atrophy, and we’ve allowed ourselves to give up on the hope of revolution. All the leaks coming out basically show that Russia owns Trump, and that the government had this information during the election, but didn’t act on it, because they wanted to protect the transfer of power and protect the notion of elections as a powerful, magical ritual. But, you know, if someone thinks that I’m wrong, like the “Our Revolution, BernieRead More →

And after my parents were separated, my father did become my mother’s landlord, and she did begin taking in a cast of peculiar boarders to make ends meet. B. One of my ideas unfolds in mid-19th-century SoHo, long before it was known as SoHo. I’ve always had my own particular voice, and this novel, especially because it’s written in the first person, is really defined more by Griffin’s voice, humor, and sensibility than by any external structural or literary notions. The book’s wit, its energy, its affection, and its equipoise consoled me, and its portrait of a singularly odd, rather entropic New York City familyRead More →

One night we were together with Elizabeth and Robert Lowell, and we thought, “Mary would be the person to send to Saigon.” I sent her a telegram that night, she replied yes, she would go next week, but she had a bad back and would need a first class ticket. That’s true. We asked the writers we admired the most in the world to write reviews of the books of the winter, for no money, due in three weeks, to show what a new book review could be. Even today. When we started in 1963, the Vietnam War was hardly visible. Now we’re around 149,000,Read More →

They oppress you. Arriving in New York City, the couple oriented themselves by joining a small freethinking society known as the “Moral Philanthropists,” a “congregation of Atheists,” as one city guidebook called the group. Anderson dwells on Rose’s robust radicalism, but acknowledges the places in which she held her agitation in check. She had lost much of her energy for the lecture circuit and had ceded leadership to other activists such as Anthony and Stanton. When she and William briefly returned to the United States in 1873 and 1874, she was honored more for what she had done than what she was still doing —Read More →

He strongly disagrees, however. Hale himself is too much of a muchness, too present on the page. This book presents an argument based not on squishy emotional commitments but rather on the moral demands of being a vulnerable human on a harsh planet. The uninformed reader should not have to Google “Ramsay Bolton” in order to understand why Hale inserted him as an example of sadism. “We don’t need to love nature to be green,” he proclaims. Hale wonders why tree-hugging, tofu-eating Greenies — who, in his view, aren’t engaged in “the right way” — don’t see the whole truth with respect to “nature.” “NatureRead More →

¤ Dan Friedman is the executive editor of Forward.com. But the simplicity of that derivation is belied by the complexity and frequency of its appearance in nature. If you haven’t heard of it before, trust me, it’s fun — and I’ll explain it in a second. While there, he absorbed from local merchants the Arab mathematics that they, in turn, had adapted and developed from the early Indian mathematicians. As Australia found, to its detriment, given these conditions, 377 pairs of rabbits are created from one pair in one year. As a merchant’s son with a good education on both the north and south shoresRead More →

Never meant as a book for the ages, Mein Kampf was no Das Kapital, no Leviathan; rather, it was the longest and weightiest doorstop of a political pamphlet ever written, exhibiting all of the gutter traits, writ large, to which that species of polemic lends itself. Ascent draws heavily from Dr. Reading 1924: The Year That Made Hitler, the reader must try very hard not to feel some uncomfortable admiration for the young upstart’s breathtaking audacity. Here we see the early-Hitlerian hints of the Drang nach Osten: “The fight against Jewish world Bolshevization requires a clear attitude toward Soviet Russia.” Range offers an effective synthesis,Read More →

At best, SGV Chinese restaurants might have gotten a nod in a “cheap eats” column, lauded for their “hole in the wall authenticity,” but there was no ambiguity about where they fell on the hierarchy relative to establishments with white tablecloths (and whiter clientele). Liu stresses that this early phase “reflects more Chinese adaptation to America than what Chinese eat in China.” In other words, the first hundred years of Chinese-American cuisine tell us less about the food traditions of China and far more about how Chinese immigrants used food as a way to negotiate their entry into American society. Wang, decided to move hisRead More →

The real difference between her early and later work might have less to do with aesthetic strategy than with artistic ability. A comics panel functions differently. Despite the short story’s ideal length and scope for a busy culture like ours, we routinely slight short fiction in favor of the novel, short films in favor of feature-length ones, et cetera. The edition appends a new two-page color introduction to Spaniel Rage’s two parts: “Diary Comics and Drawings in Sketchbook, 2003-2004”; and “Other Stories,” a collection of shorter pieces that originally ran in small zines and journals. Spaniel Rage’s only multi-page narratives appear in the “Other Stories”Read More →

His repertoire of speeches boasted titles such as “The Bible the Enemy of Women,” “Secularization through Organization,” and “Why I Left the Pulpit.” In 1886, he pitched his tent in Morristown, New Jersey. But what about the history of atheism and secularism in the United States? Well, as Schmidt shows, this is nothing new. For me, as a sociologist who has been doing ethnographic fieldwork among secular culture in the United States for over a decade, these points of continuity are particularly interesting and noteworthy. Countless books have been written about every nook and cranny of religious life in the United States’s past — everyRead More →

In a twist on traditional back-to-the-land narratives, Sundeen heads for the expanding farmland of downtown Detroit. Voluntary poverty is voluntary. Brieger and Elliot, like many of their peers, have a complicated relationship with this success. When the racist redlining practices that had put some neighborhoods off limits to them vanished, for example, they could purchase a home wherever they liked. Hubert followed an educational trajectory that eventually took her to London and an internship with the Royal Horticultural Society, acquiring a professional skill-set that included propagating orchids and pruning elaborate topiary. Sundeen describes the meeting in which the group confronts the fact that, after eightRead More →

Why else would he conclude his narrative with Seabrook’s own words: “If nobody reads you after you are dead, your words are dead, but if some living people continue to read your words, your words remain alive.” In this sense, we might understand Ollmann’s elisions as a kind of necromancy, an attempt to resurrect volumes long since buried on the shelves of collectors. Seabrook himself would gradually betray these principles, fame and fortune proving as fatal as any cocktail. And yet I was sure I’d never heard of him. He’s already planning his next steps. Seabrook, I found myself temporarily convinced that I was readingRead More →

As president, he normalized his revanchist views from the White House by expanding segregation of federal workers. Not surprisingly, 1913 also saw a rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan. Today, only the Krazy Kat Sunday pages are in print, one in seven days of Herriman’s work, along with a smattering of miscellaneous daily strip collections. After graduating, he found work as a classified ad illustrator at the Los Angeles Herald, and spent the next 15 years shuttling between Los Angeles and New York cartooning and illustrating for papers in the Hearst and Pulitzer chains. While we remember Wilson for his internationalist foreign policy and progressiveRead More →

And a flurry of English translations and reviews over the past decade indicates that he fascinates us, and that his thinking speaks to something in our culture. A great transformation took place as Lesabéndio’s head rose into the air: the rubbery skin of his head began to unfurl like an umbrella. We can find evidence of Scheerbart’s interest in contemporary biology in The Great Race: A Development Novel in Eight Different Tales. Critiques of scientific rationality and science tout à fait often attack its dry empiricism, its tendency to flatten rich, diverse natural and cultural worlds into dehumanizing measurements and generalizations. Ewers (ed.), Führer durchRead More →

The mob applauded because it took the statement literally; the bourgeoisie applauded because it had been fooled by its own hypocrisy for so long that it had grown tired of the tension and found deep wisdom in the expression of the banality by which it lived; the elite applauded because the unveiling of hypocrisy was such superior, wonderful fun. President Trump, on the other hand, will never admit he is wrong, will never concede a factual error, and he challenges the existence of any authoritative reality. Trump possesses an incredible instinct for those words, phrases, and insinuations that give order and sense to the movement.Read More →

Anna’s efforts to unearth her mother’s story feel to her like “following a shadow.” The enigma of that strange relationship is gradually revealed — not necessarily as a rewritten Lolita apprenticeship, this time   “from the woman’s point of view” — but as a complex bond between equals — an amorous initiation   of two   lovers who are both destined to become writers, and for whom the difference in age is but a stimulating oddity. MARCH 17, 2017 THE DISEASE OF DIVINE ORIGIN   is the title of a seductive Romanian poetry   book about love. My entire body listened. with letters of loveRead More →

Areas outside the fence, such as Culver City, populated by a new underclass known as “Drifters,” are designated as Burn Zones — areas that Chief’s regime periodically cleanses through planned firestorms. Fake news would be at home in Tolkin’s novel, and his society has no memory of the past, as we increasingly become a culture that forgets history. As Tolkin imagines it, the shattering of our mighty society comes not through nuclear winter, but through the whimper of a sudden viral attack from North Korea. One of Chief’s bodyguards is called Royce Hall because he used to play football for UCLA; another bodyguard is actuallyRead More →

He goes to get his camera to preserve one of those moments he just talked about, though it’s already futile, because as soon as he leaves, the moment is over. She is morose and plastic, but foremost a workaholic, who even on her short trips to Germany can’t get off her phone and even pretends she is on a call to avoid her father. Soon after he leaves, Ines walks out of the patio into a bit of nature behind the house. In this off-kilter morality tale, the ending, as constructed, is more airy than the Dardenne Zone, where the character’s choice is limited. BadRead More →

In DOOM, you play as a nameless, faceless “space marine” so bereft of characterization or quality that across the many iterations of Doom, internet commentators have come to call the protagonist, simply, “doomguy.” Doomguy was a useful skeleton to hang the 1993 game on — a game far more focused on introducing then-new game mechanics and game coding practices. DOOM sits in an interesting interstitial space economically and culturally: mass market but niche, known but not ubiquitous. Doomguy sells. DOOM knows that anger is too amorphous; rage has a vector. But games are confusing commodities and confusing art in just this context: in a societyRead More →