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In defense of America’s best idea
“Whether and how we educate people is still a direct reflection of the degree of freedom we expect them to have, or want them to have.”
Photograph (crop) by Thomas Allen

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New Movies·

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The Force Awakens criticizes American imperialism while also celebrating the revolutionary spirit that founded this country. When the movie needs to bridge the two points of view, it shifts to aerial combat, a default setting that mirrors the war on terror all too well.”
Still © Lucasfilm

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Isn’t It Romantic?·

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Looking for love in the age of Tinder
“He had paid for much of her schooling, something he cannot help but mention, since the aftermath of any failed relationship brings an ungenerous and impossible impulse to claw back one’s misspent resources.”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae

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The Trouble with Iowa·

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Corn, corruption, and the presidential caucuses
“It seems to defy reason that this anachronistic farm state — a demographic outlier, with no major cities and just 3 million people, nine out of ten of them white — should play such an outsized role in American politics.”
Photograph (detail) © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Rule, Britannica·

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“This is the strange magic of an arrangement of all the world’s knowledge in alphabetical order: any search for anything passes through things that have nothing in common with it but an initial letter.”
Artwork by Brian Dettmer. Courtesy the artist and P.P.O.W., New York City.

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Number of people who attended the World Grits Festival, held in St. George, South Carolina, last spring:

60,000

The brown bears of Greece continued chewing through telephone poles.

In Peru, a 51-year-old activist became the first former sex worker to run for the national legislature. “I’m going to put order,” she said, “in that big brothel which is Congress.”

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Editor's Note — February 12, 2016, 1:57 pm

Introducing the March Issue

Marilynne Robinson, Christopher Ketcham, Rivka Galchen, Stuart Franklin, and more

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Weekly Review — February 9, 2016, 12:19 pm

Weekly Review

Egypt banned a German tourist from the country for climbing the Giza pyramid, and the body of an Italian student was discovered with signs of torture in a Cairo suburb. A New York City police officer testified in court that he was unable to perform CPR on a gunshot victim because the academy had helped him cheat on his certification test, and an officer in Chicago who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager sued the boy’s family for $10 million, claiming emotional trauma. In Peru, a 51-year-old activist became the first former sex worker to run for the national legislature. “I’m going to put order,” she said, “in that big brothel which is Congress.” Read more…

Art, Monday Gallery — February 8, 2016, 11:55 am

Richon MG

“Portrait of a Monkey with Fruit,” a photograph by Olivier Richon, whose work will be on view next month at Materia Gallery, in Rome. Courtesy the artist and Ibid. Gallery, London and Los Angeles

Art, Sketch — February 4, 2016, 12:04 pm

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Illustrations of Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood, as it appeared decades ago and today.

Publisher's Note — February 3, 2016, 4:00 pm

The President’s War

“For the first three years of François Hollande’s presidency, he was neither malicious nor dangerous. And yet, since the terrorist attack on the Bataclan, it’s been a whole different story.”

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Weekly Review — February 2, 2016, 12:26 pm

Weekly Review

A teenager in Melbourne was charged with conspiring to prepare for a terrorist attack after he was recorded discussing plans to paint the Islamic State flag on a kangaroo, pack the animal full of explosives, and release it in the vicinity of police officers. Two 71-year-old Americans sailing from Norway to the United States were rescued, for the ninth time, after their boat caught fire from a candle they left burning while they were out buying groceries. “This fire is definitely not typical,” said one of the men. Read more…

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Two Christmas Mornings of the Great War

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Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.

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