• CULTURAL HISTORY

American Fun

An argument that wicked play outweighs hard work in our country's heritage.

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  • CULTURAL HISTORY

Before the Crash

Two new books drink in the excesses (and mornings after) of the Jazz Age.

 

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  • CULTURAL HISTORY

Falling Upwards

As the craze for ballooning swept Europe, scientists and thrill seekers alike sought a god's-eye-view.

 

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  • CULTURAL HISTORY

The Discovery of Middle Earth

How the Druids charted Europe (and the Romans took the credit).

 

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  • CULTURAL HISTORY

On Paper

How a civilization built itself out of wood pulp and ink.

 

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  • CULTURAL HISTORY

The Art of Controversy

The former editor of The Nation provides an illustrated tour of comic provocation and satire.

 

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  • CULTURAL HISTORY

My American Revolution

Can the ghost of 1776 be discerned in the highway-striped landscape of a twenty-first-century nation?

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  • CULTURAL HISTORY

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend

The eventful life—and surprising legacy—of the original movie dog.

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  • CULTURAL HISTORY

97 Orchard

The history of a building on Manhattan's Lower East Side yields a portrait of immigrant New York in all of its richness. Read more...

  • cultural history

Still Life

An author's investigation into the surprisingly long-lived world of taxidermy. Read more...

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.