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The New YorkerThe New Yorker

The New Yorker November 18, 2019

Founded in 1925, The New Yorker publishes the best writers of its time and has received more National Magazine Awards than any other magazine, for its groundbreaking reporting, authoritative analysis, and creative inspiration. The New Yorker takes readers beyond the weekly print magazine with the web, mobile, tablet, social media, and signature events. The New Yorker is at once a classic and at the leading edge.

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2 min.
contributors

Alec MacGillis (“After the Crash,” p. 50), who covers politics for Pro-Publica, is the author of “The Cynic: The Political Education of Mitch McConnell.” This article is a collaboration between The New Yorker and ProPublica. Eliza Griswold (“Crises of Choice,” p. 30) won a Pulitzer Prize this year for “Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America.” Alex Barasch (The Talk of the Town, p. 20) is a member of The New Yorker’s editorial staff. Weike Wang (Fiction, p. 62) is the author of the novel “Chemistry,” which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Whiting Award in fiction. Billy Collins (Poem, p. 66) has published twelve books of poetry. His most recent is “The Rain in Portugal.” Vinson Cunningham (The Theatre, p. 76), a theatre critic for the magazine, became a staff writer…

3 min.
the mail

READING THE STARS Christine Smallwood’s article on astrology fails to mention a crucial fact—that astrology is nonsense (“Starstruck,” October 28th). In terms of intellectual respectability, astrology falls somewhere between flat-earth conspiracy theories and belief in intelligent design. To treat it as “a literary language whose truth can neither be validated nor invalidated by empirical science” is a mistake. Science has thoroughly documented the weaknesses in human psychology that lead people to believe in astrology, such as the Barnum effect and confirmation bias. Meanwhile, there is no empirical support for the claims of astrology. The fact that an increasing number of Americans make life decisions based on such a belief system is cause for concern. Society will improve only to the extent that we engage with reality to solve our individual and…

26 min.
goings on about town: this week

The flamenco dancer Soledad Barrio (above) doesn’t need dry ice, multiple costume changes, or loud amplification—all staples of modern flamenco shows. What Barrio offers is more impressive: deep focus and raw power. This is flamenco as unapologetic high drama, as urgent conversation between the dancer and the guitarists and singers who feed her with their energy. Barrio’s company, Noche Flamenca, returns to the Joyce, Nov. 19-Dec.1, with “Entre Tú y Yo” (“Between You and Me”), an evening of solos, duets, and ensemble pieces. NIGHT LIFE Musicians and night-club proprietors lead complicated lives; it’s advisable to check in advance to confirm engagements. Roy Haynes Blue Note Sitting down to reminisce with the magisterial drummer Roy Haynes would be a singular experience: he’s the only musician alive who can tell you what it was like to play…

3 min.
tables for two: nami nori

On the one hand, the West Village is the kind of neighborhood where, on a Wednesday night at six-thirty, you might be quoted a ninety-minute wait for a seat at a brand-new chicly appointed hand-roll bar called Nami Nori. On the other hand, the West Village is the kind of neighborhood where you can kill time at a well-worn thirty-year-old store called Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books. It was during a visit to Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books, one recent Wednesday, that I found myself having my palm read by a psychic who camps out in a nook there. After guessing my husband’s initials, she said that I would travel somewhere warm next year: “I see palm trees.” When she told me that I could ask her a question for free, I failed…

5 min.
comment: alter-ego trips

Donald Trump, at times when it has served his purposes, has chosen to assume different personae. There was John Barron, an alias he used in the nineteen-eighties when giving false property valuations to a reporter. Later, there was John Miller, a guise he adopted to brag to People about his romances. (“He’s living with Marla and he’s got three other girlfriends.”) David Dennison was his stand-in for a hush agreement with the adult-movie actress Stormy Daniels, which has now led the Manhattan District Attorney to subpoena Trump’s accountant in an effort to get access, at last, to the President’s tax returns. More recently, Trump has shown an elastic sense of identity in ways that exemplify his Presidential overreach and arrogance. On Halloween, in a case that has major implications for both…

4 min.
visiting dignitaries: one man gathers

Last month, Kip Ole Polos arrived in New York for a month of fundraising on behalf of his tribe, the Il Ngwesi Maasai, which is trying to reintroduce the black rhinoceros on its lands, in northern Kenya. Ole Polos, a safari guide and a former Maasai warrior, is the chairman of the council that governs the Il Ngwesi community and its conservancy; he is leading efforts to protect wildlife, link up with other neighboring preserves, and integrate women into Il Ngwesi political life. On October 30th, after a quick visit to Vermont, he was a featured speaker at a gala at the Metropolitan Club, hosted by the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, which borders the Il Ngwesi land. The m.c. was Alex Beard, an artist who lives in New Orleans and who sits…