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On Such a Full Sea

Chang-rae Lee’s new novel is a haunting, deeply unnerving critique of a spiritually stunted community kept satisfied with basic comforts and the promise of protection from a threatening world. (Are you getting all this, NSA?) 

Posted on Jan 24, 2014 READ MORE


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Northwestern University Press

The Poems of François Villon

François Villon, the medieval French poet, was a champion of the underclass—street thugs, pimps, gamblers, petty criminals, prostitutes. No poet has ever written of the refuse of society with such compassion.

Posted on Jan 17, 2014 READ MORE

Melville House

Hannah Arendt’s Last Interview

“To think critically is always to be hostile,” political philosopher Hannah Arendt declared before her death in 1975. “Thinking itself is such a dangerous enterprise.”

Posted on Jan 10, 2014 READ MORE

Dalkey Archive Press

The House With a Sunken Courtyard

The narrator of this Korean novel recalls the year that his family spent living alongside four other struggling families in the cramped quarters of a formerly grand old house in the wake of the Korean War.

Posted on Jan 3, 2014 READ MORE

W.W. Norton

No Humbug Here

This year, try reading instead of watching “A Christmas Carol,” and pay attention to its apolitical, even reactionary views on social change. There’s more to this Dickens classic than Alastair Sims and the Muppets.

Posted on Dec 27, 2013 READ MORE

Other Press

The Professor of Truth

The new novel by Scotland’s James Robertson, based on the Lockerbie bombing, is a thought-provoking portrayal of grief, loss, injustice and the tragedy of someone imprisoned by his certainty.

Posted on Dec 20, 2013 READ MORE

Bloomsbury Publishing

Story of a Death Foretold

It has been 40 years since the CIA helped oust a democratically elected government in Chile, leaving President Salvador Allende sprawled on a couch with part of his skull gone. Oscar Guardiola-Rivera tells the story of “that other September 11.”

Posted on Dec 13, 2013 READ MORE


Reign of Error

As educational reforms themselves grow ever more strident, standardized and, yes, totalitarian in structure, Diane Ravitch embodies the institutional memory that no totalitarian system can abide.

Posted on Dec 6, 2013 READ MORE

Times Books

The Brothers

Stephen Kinzer tells the story of the Dulles brothers, who served as secretary of state and director of the CIA in the Eisenhower administration. It is a bracing, disturbing, and serious study of the exercise of American global power.

Posted on Nov 29, 2013 READ MORE


A Theory of the Young-Girl

A slim, shattering book by a French collective called Tiqqun shows us the “Young-Girl” in everyone in consumer society—experiencing ourselves almost entirely as commodities to be valorized and marketed.

Posted on Nov 22, 2013 READ MORE

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