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October 31, 2014
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Buddhists at War

Have you heard about Vakkali, the Buddhist sage who attained Nirvana while slicing his own throat? Of all the major faith traditions, Buddhism is often seen as the most peaceful, but “Buddhist Warfare” exposes its darker side.

Posted on Oct 8, 2010 READ MORE


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Jonathan Franzen in Womanland

“Freedom” is about something important, but the hubbub about how the critical establishment favors male literary writers like Franzen is also significant. Why has everyone cared so much? Because fiction matters.

Posted on Sep 30, 2010 READ MORE



Tony Blair’s Journey

When a high-profile politician is in office, self-disclosure comes at too high a price, however carefully orchestrated it might be. But now that Blair has left 10 Downing Street, the former British prime minister is telling his story—and trying to protect his legacy—in a new memoir.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



The Dylan in All of Us

You have every right to pick up “Bob Dylan in America” with skepticism—or at least you would if you didn’t know how deep Sean Wilentz’s background in traditional American music goes.

Posted on Sep 10, 2010 READ MORE



A Study of the Worldly Art of Jazz

Developing an appreciation for jazz is partly a matter of understanding how it is influenced by other forces of life, as this review of a new book by Gary Giddins and Scott DeVeaux notes, and how the music plays—and breaks—with form.

Posted on Sep 3, 2010 READ MORE



Norman Podhoretz in Black and White

Norman Birnbaum, the noted sociologist and thinker, analyzes two worthy new books, by Thomas L. Jeffers and Benjamin Balint, on the longtime editor of Commentary and the magazine he shaped.

Posted on Aug 20, 2010 READ MORE



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Nigel Warburton on Why Video Games Are Good

In Tom Chatfield’s “Fun Inc.,” the case is made that far from corrupting popular culture and turning its addicted users into “blinking lizards,” video games can help us be happier and live better.

Posted on Aug 13, 2010 READ MORE



Larry Blumenfeld on Nat Hentoff

A new collection of writings by one of America’s greatest self-described Jewish atheists distills the essence of his half-century defense of civil liberties and jazz—the nation’s most original and influential art.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 READ MORE


Lesley Blanch

Caroline Moorehead on the Exemplary Life of Lesley Blanch

A new biography of the remarkable writer Lesley Blanch suggests that living well—which may be the same thing as living passionately—is the best way of blunting the force of time’s arrow.

Posted on Jul 29, 2010 READ MORE



Troy Jollimore on Markets and Morality

Debra Satz’s new book, “Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale,” raises timely and morally difficult questions about capitalism and free choice and collective and individual rights.

Posted on Jul 22, 2010 READ MORE


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