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Reviews

Le Mot Juste

The soothing clarity of Shirley Hazzard

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New Books

Elegy IV (detail), from the series Arctic Elegy, by DM Witman © The artist. Courtesy Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, New York “Don’t say that he’s hypocritical / Say rather that he’s apolitical,” Tom…

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Cage of Gold

The corrupt business of deportation

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New Books

If it weren’t for the black death, the fourteenth-century merchant Francesco di Marco Datini might have left no trace in history. A workaholic Tuscan with offices from Bruges to Barcelona,…

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Desert Blues

Charles Bowden’s borderlands

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New Books

Spreading Fires During the Great Kanto Earthquake, a newspaper illustration of the 1855 earthquake in Edo, Japan. Courtesy Special Collections, Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library A metropolis can transform, and even…

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Teutomania

Tracing the origins of the German nation

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New Books

A Cotton Office in New Orleans, by Edgar Degas. Courtesy Musée des Beaux-Arts, Pau, France In 1873, while visiting family in America, Edgar Degas painted a scene from his uncle’s…

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Splinters and Mosaics

On women’s history and group biography

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Always Leave Them Wanting Less

How not to write about Andy Warhol

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New Books

Discussed in this essay: Curzio Malaparte’s Diary of a Foreigner in Paris; Jazmina Barrera’s On Lighthouses; Elizabeth DiSavino’s Katherine Jackson French: Kentucky’s Forgotten Ballad Collector; Percival Everett’s Telephone over chess.…

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Difficulties Everywhere

Can Kierkegaard tell us how to live?

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New Books

Members of the Moorish Science Temple of America at an annual gathering, 1928 Courtesy Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New York Public Library Last summer, Philadelphia proclaimed…

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To Rebel Is Justified

On the long shadow of Maoism

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Through Clenched Teeth

The cold, frenzied genius of Kleist

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A View to a Krill

The first history of the most remote ocean

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New Books

Design for a grotesque mask by Johann Ulrich Stapf © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Witch hunts have always been a tool of those in power. As such, they shed…

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Fun with Problems

The life of Robert Stone

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New Books

There’s much to be said for being maladjusted. More and more, perhaps, as the environment to which one is expected to adjust becomes more ruinous. The climate activist Greta Thunberg…

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Dearest Lizzie

The end of a literary marriage

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Selective Hearing

On the specious new history podcasts

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Existential Noir

On the fiction of Juan Carlos Onetti

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Salka the Salonnière

On the queen of old Hollywood’s émigrés

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New Books

Discussed in this essay: Cleanness, by Garth Greenwell. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 240 pages. $26. Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War, by Vincent Brown. Harvard University Press. 336 pages. $35.  Of…

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October 2020