Reviews & Essays

POLITICS

The Georgetown Set: Friends and Rivals in Cold War Washington

The Georgetown Set: Friends and Rivals in Cold War Washington

By GREGG HERKEN

Joe Alsop was post-war Washington’s greatest host. But when the party ended, his downfall had true upsides. Review by Michael O’Donnell.

Posted by × October 31, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

The Devil Rocks Out: The Legacies of Aleister Crowley

The Devil Rocks Out: The Legacies of Aleister Crowley

Why did an Edwardian occultist become the darling of the Age of Aquarius? Bill Tipper on two new books examining the lasting influence of “The Wickedest Man in the World.”

Posted by × October 29, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

Ghosts: A Natural History

Ghosts: A Natural History

By ROGER CLARKE

Do phantoms walk among us? Looking at the spirit world through the lens of science doesn’t preclude thrills. Review by Peter Lewis.

Posted by × October 29, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

Women

Women

By CHLOE CALDWELL

From a young writer’s heartache come mature ideas on lost love and the will to carry on.

Posted by × October 29, 2014 ×

CULTURAL STUDIES

The Secret History of Wonder Woman

The Secret History of Wonder Woman

By JILL LEPORE

The strange genesis of a star-spangled symbol of female empowerment.

Posted by × October 27, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

J: A Novel

J: A Novel

By HOWARD JACOBSON

The Booker Prize–winning author creates a vision of tomorrow eerily haunted by Melville’s white whale.

Posted by × October 22, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

Nora Webster

Nora Webster

By COLM TÓIBÍN

A young Irish widow returns to an abandoned profession as a means of feeding her children – and stifling loneliness.

Posted by × October 22, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

From Bell Jar to Magic Barrel: Emily Gould, Joanna Rakoff, and Anya Ulinich

From Bell Jar to Magic Barrel: Emily Gould, Joanna Rakoff, and Anya Ulinich

In memoir and fiction — and sometimes online — three women chart a generation’s uneasy passage into adulthood.

Posted by × October 22, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid

All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid

By MATT BAI

How the 1987 scandal of would-be presidential candidate Gary Hart gave us the political news cycle of today.

Posted by × October 21, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

The Meaning of Human Existence

The Meaning of Human Existence

By EDWARD O. WILSON

Mankind – origins, our unique place in the universe, and what the future of the species holds – in about two hundred pages.

Posted by × October 20, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

Green: The History of a Color

Green: The History of a Color

By MICHEL PASTOUREAU

In verde, there is veritas: a new book explains how one hue can illustrate greed, royalty, envy, and the splendor of the natural world.

Posted by × October 17, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories

By HILARY MANTEL

The author of Wolf Hall opens doors into alternate worlds in her new collection of short fiction.

Posted by × October 10, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

American Cornball

American Cornball

By CHRISTOPHER MILLER

A “Guide to the Formerly Funny” garners present-day laughs, while examining some shocking subjects that no longer seem comic.

Posted by × October 8, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

An Unknowable Past

An Unknowable Past

By VANESSA MANKO

How a politically charged debut novel of emigration was born from a true story of the author’s family.

Posted by × October 8, 2014 ×

REVIEWS & ESSAYS

The Paying Guests

The Paying Guests

By SARAH WATERS

The author of Fingersmith and The Little Stranger returns to London’s mean streets in her latest work of quiet excellence.

Posted by × October 7, 2014 ×