The received wisdom about multicultural America goes something like this: “At the time of the Founding, America’s free population was not only white but almost entirely British, and the nation’s culture was based on their common heritage. That monocultural domination continued through the 19th and 20th centuries as other white European immigrant groups were assimilated [...]
The Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson has observed that academic sociologists are rarely asked to participate in political initiatives to address the problems of poverty, inequality, and black disadvantage. Fueled by their dread of “blaming the victim,” these academics display an indifference to the “cultural dimensions of poverty, particularly black poverty” that renders their work useless [...]
As I lay dying (or at least I thought I might be), as the blood, spurting upward, splattered the green tunics of my surgeons—I was fully conscious throughout—the image of the small brown puppy flitted across my mind.
In 2006, The Times of London described what it called the first “Web rage” attack: a middle-aged London man tracked down and knifed another man with whom he had been arguing in an online chat room. For most of us, vehement exchanges in the furiously paced world of online comment sections and social-media platforms will [...]
The Myth of the Cultural Jew: Culture and Law in Jewish TraditionBy Roberta Rosenthal KwallOxford, 336 pagesBagels and lox are among the most famous elements of American Jewish culture. According to Leo Rosten, author of The Joys of Yiddish, the bagel dates back to the early 17th century in Poland, the nation from which many [...]
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision to Not Have KidsBy Meghan DaumPicador, 288 pagesBack in the olden days, having children was simple. Well, let’s amend that: The actual birthing, rearing, and proper raising of children has never been simple, as the thousands of years of family-centric drama, heartache, love, and hair-on-fire feuds [...]
Goebbels: A BiographyBy Peter LongerichRandom House, 906 pagesThe word propaganda has come to represent politics at its most corrupt. Although the term originated with Pope Gregory XV, who founded the Congregatio de propaganda fide (the Office for the Propagation of the Faith), it has long since outgrown such holy intentions. In 1922, Walter Lippmann distilled [...]
Death and Mr. Pickwick: A NovelBy Stephen JarvisFarrar, Straus & Giroux, 816 pagesThe Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens’s first novel, published serially over 20 months in 1836 and 1837, was a phenomenon. Its popularity was unprecedented; eventually, it outsold every book in England save the Bible and Shakespeare’s plays, and it catapulted Dickens to superstardom. It [...]
Bruce Jenner is not the only person trading identities. Hillary Clinton’s recent march to the left is one of the more remarkable political transformations in recent years, not least because she’s exploiting the public’s nostalgia for her husband’s presidency while repudiating the policies for which he is famous. Maybe this is how she plans to [...]
To the Editor:Heather Wilhelm is on target when she writes that there is no “rape culture” [“The ‘Rape-Culture’ Lie,” March]. Rather, rape is a crime that society punishes harshly—not in any respect a foundation for society. She is also correct to see that “hookup culture” is causing much harm. While reading her article, I was [...]
To the Editor:Yuval Levin’s “The Mobility Crisis” [March] misses one key element in today’s reduced mobility in America: the burden of indebtedness.
To the Editor:Benjamin Domenech makes some interesting points about the rising costs of noncash work benefits to employers [“The Truth About Wage Stagnation,” March]. The corollary, though—that expected or mandated benefits are the real (or at least the primary) reason that employee wages (and by extension, well-being) stagnates—seems problematic, and it would be interesting to [...]
Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary RichBy Peter SchweizerHarper, 256 pagesWealthy Americans who seek to amass political power have always been able to do so with relative ease, as long as they go about it with skill. Until recently, however, it has not [...]
Khamenei’s TermsFollowing its announcement of a “framework” for a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration spent a month pledging it would prevent Tehran from ever getting a bomb. The major problem with this sales job is that the Iranians think the terms of the still-unwritten pact are very different from the ones that Washington [...]
William Goldman famously explained Hollywood’s inability to make more hits than flops with the pithy three-word line “nobody knows anything.” Motion-picture executives are paid tens of millions of dollars presumably so they won’t make the very mistakes they do make. All their experience, all their reading, all their marketing, all their hard-won wisdom, is worth [...]