Close Reading

Close Reading — June 16, 2014, 8:00 am

Ayn Rand’s Rapture of the Rails

The train deaths of Atlas Shrugged

Still from Atlas Shrugged: Part I © The Strike Productions

Close Reading — March 10, 2014, 3:55 pm

The Congressional Research Service Teaches Science to Congress

A study in forced neutrality

Harper's Magazine (August 1910)

Close Reading — February 27, 2014, 5:25 pm

In the Margins of Twelve Years a Slave

Tracing an original edition of Solomon Northup’s narrative to a slaveholder

The McCoy family’s original 1853 edition of Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave. © Mary Niall Mitchell. Courtesy Caroline Helm

Close Reading — September 26, 2013, 8:00 am

The Tutelage of Charlotte and Emily Brontë

The Brontë sisters’ devoirs on filial love, under the instruction of Constantin Heger

From Charlotte Brontë’s homework

Close Reading — July 24, 2013, 8:00 am

A Possible Urtext for Mad Men

Reading James Kelly’s The Insider

James Kelly’s “The Insider” (cover detail)

Close Reading — April 12, 2013, 9:00 am

Mad Men’s Too-Visible Man

Don Draper, non-enigma

Falling Man (thumb)

Close Reading — December 26, 2012, 10:00 am

The Worldly Prose of Thornton Wilder

How Wilder evokes the music of our lives

[Portrait of Thornton Wilder, as Mr. Antrobus in "The Skin of Your Teeth"] (thumb)

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“People want education. Open a school and they will rush.”
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Average number of sitcom laughs an American hears during a prime-time season:

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Czech and German deer still do not cross the Iron Curtain.

British economists correlated the happiness of a country’s population with its genetic resemblance to Danes.

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