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Archive: 2017

Liberation Struggle

Discussed in this essay: Chester B. Himes: A Biography, by Lawrence P. Jackson. W. W. Norton. 640 pages. $35. Early in Chester Himes’s first and best-known novel, If He Hollers…

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Findings

Circulation Journal published the editorial “Tolvaptan, Is It a Trump to Worsening Renal Function?” Neurosurgeons published “A Political Case of Penetrating Cranial Trauma,” Senegalese doctors compiled reports of people who…

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Innocents Abroad

From a guide to “common principles of behavior” recommended to Russian tourists visiting foreign countries. The guide was released by the Russian Foreign Ministry in March. Translated from the Russian…

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Occupied Territory

One morning, as I walked on the quiet, mostly wooded King Mountain trail above San Francisco Bay, a dog not much smaller than I and possessed of much sharper teeth…

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Because You Have To

By Catherine Lacey, from Certain American States, a forthcoming collection of short stories. Lacey’s second novel, The Answers, was published last month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. She is a…

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Letters

In Name Only As Robert O. Paxton notes, it’s tempting to label President Trump a fascist [“American Duce,” Revision, May]. Just look at Trump’s far-right entourage—Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller…

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It’s My Party

Close to a decade ago, as Barack Obama was cresting toward his first presidential victory, Jim Martin pleaded desperately for his help. Martin was a progressive Democrat running for the…

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The Reichstag Fire Next Time

When each day brings more news than we are used to seeing in a week, and the kind of news that only the most catastrophic imagination can accommodate, we find…

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Cast Aways

From voice messages sent on WhatsApp by Abdul Aziz Muhamat, a twenty-four-year-old Sudanese refugee detained on Manus Island, to Michael Green, a journalist, in March and April 2016. That April,…

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Game of Thoreaus

From tasks performed in Walden, a computer game in which players simulate the life of Henry David Thoreau. The game was developed by Tracy Fullerton at the University of Southern…

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Harper’s Index

Estimated payload, in pounds of military-grade explosives, of fireworks purchased annually in the United States :  5,900,000 Of the MOAB, the U.S. military’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb :  18,000 Amount…

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Sex Marks the Spot

From a list of features advertised for I Just Made Love! The cell phone app consists of a user-generated map and social network.  Use your built-in GPS to mark the…

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Noisy by Nature

From minutes at a county council meeting in Kauai, Hawaii, in 2015. Residents gave public testimony regarding the repeal of an ordinance that imposed fines on the owners of barking…

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Churl Next Door

From letters that Marcel Proust wrote to his neighbors Marie and Charles Williams between 1908 and 1916, while he lived at 102 Boulevard Haussmann, in Paris. Charles Williams owned a…

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Early Modern Love Poem

By Oli Hazzard, from a manuscript in progress. Hazzard has published two volumes of poetry, including, most recently, Within Habit (2014).  calling in sick      for each other in each other’s…

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Ghost Nation

In his heart, Simon Yakida knew he was digging his own grave. A few days earlier, clashes between government troops and rebel forces near Bamurye, Yakida’s village in South Sudan,…

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The Maze

On coming to America I had the same hopes as have most European immigrants and the same disillusionment, though the latter affected me more keenly and more deeply. The immigrant without…

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The Mustache in 2010

ocial historians will record that in the early twenty-first century the fashion for a clean-shaven face lost its dominance in metropolitan North American bourgeois society. (The no-nonsense goatee-mustache, associated with…

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New Books

In Marie ­NDiaye’s novel MY HEART HEMMED IN (Two Lines Press, $14.95), Nadia and Ange, a middle-aged couple from Bordeaux, become outcasts. “What sort of wickedness, I ask myself, are they suddenly…

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Tomb Raiders

Discussed in this essay: Lenin the Dictator: An Intimate Portrait, by Victor Sebestyen. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. 592 pages. $35. Lenin on the Train, by Catherine Merridale. Metropolitan Books. 368 pages. $30. Reminiscences of…

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Findings

Racists in the United States support free-speech rights for racist speech, but not for speech critical of their co-workers or the police. The number of Americans admitted to emergency departments…

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The Weekly Package

In Havana’s late afternoon, when the heat had risen to more than ninety degrees, Maykel Molina Gutiérrez got off the bus in the posh neighborhood of Vedado, walked to an…

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August 2017