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The New Yorker

The New Yorker November 25, 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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in this issue

2 min.

Burkhard Bilger (“Open Wide,” p. 42) has been a staff writer since 2001. He is at work on a book about his grandfather’s experience in wartime Alsace. Rachel Monroe (“On the Nose,” p. 36), a contributing writer for The Atlantic, is the author of “Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession.” Philip Deloria (A Critic at Large, p. 70) is a professor of history at Harvard. His most recent book is “Becoming Mary Sully: Toward an American Indian Abstract.” Carrie Battan (Pop Music, p. 80) started contributing to the magazine in 2015, and became a staff writer in 2018. Edward Hirsch (Poem, p. 66) will publish a new poetry collection, “Stranger by Night,” in February. Casey Cep (Books, p. 75) is a staff writer and the author of “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud,…

4 min.
the mail

PERSPECTIVES ON AGING Arthur Krystal’s meditation on the pains and opportunities of growing older was thoughtful and comprehensive, but, while reading, all I could think of was how many elderly people buck the trends that he writes about (A Critic at Large, November 4th). Picasso, for example, painted until his death, at the age of ninety-one, and his late work was pretty good. Although infirmity is unwelcome, and, for many of us, likely inevitable, we should keep aiming to get the most out of life—or die trying. I’m a septuagenarian, and I still go skydiving with my peers. When asked why I continue to do so, I say that I’m fairly healthy and am searching for the meaning of life—like many of us are, at all ages. Let’s not overthink the…

32 min.
goings on about town: this week

It took the American artist Liza Lou five years, from 1991 to 1996, and thirty million beads to complete her life-size sculpture “Kitchen” (a detail is pictured)—both a labor of love and a feminist critique of undervalued domestic labor. It’s on view, starting Nov. 22, in “Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019,” an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of more than eighty pieces by some sixty artists, from Robert Rauschenberg to Simone Leigh, who have experimented with unorthodox materials and hands-on approaches. CLASSICAL MUSIC Splinter Reeds Uptown Underground The bicoastal new-music series Permutations hosts the New York début of Splinter Reeds, a Bay Area reed quintet—a grouping, distinct from the conventional woodwind quintet, that integrates a saxophone and a bass clarinet for a more closely related blend of instrumental voices. The program includes works…

5 min.
goings on about town: celebrating the holidays

“Christmas Spectacular” Radio City Music Hall The Rockefeller Center classic, starring the leggy Rockettes, returns. Nostalgic numbers, such as the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” in which the Rockettes collapse one upon another like dominoes, and “Sleigh Ride,” featuring them as precision-stepping reindeer, are interspersed with high-tech visual effects and aerialists. And, just as it did in its first year (1933), the show offers the “Living Nativity,” a tableau vivant of the Bethlehem manger, complete with live camels. (Through Jan. 5.) Origami Holiday Tree American Museum of Natural History Earlier this month, a seventy-seven-foot-tall Norway spruce made its way from Florida, New York, to Rockefeller Center, where it awaits the tree-lighting ceremony on Dec. 4. But it’s not the only tree game in town—a smaller evergreen, thirteen feet high, is tucked inside the largest natural-history…

3 min.
tables for two: the slice renaissance

Until fairly recently, nostalgia was considered a disorder. It was conceptualized by a seventeenth-century Swiss doctor to diagnose the mental and physical pain of soldiers; they suffered, he theorized, because they longed for home. Now it’s widely recognized as quite the opposite: a powerful coping mechanism during difficult times. These are difficult times. Can it be a coincidence that pizza parlors gauzy with nostalgia’s glow seem to be multiplying in New York City? At Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop (110 Franklin St., Brooklyn, $3.50-$5), in Greenpoint, which opened in 2018, there are laminate booths, glittery lime-green vinyl stools, and orange plastic trays. You can buy an ice-cold bottle of Coke from a vintage vending machine. Eating there makes me feel like a Carterera teen-ager who’s saved up her allowance to buy a…

5 min.
comment: impeachment whirlwind

Long before Alexander Hamilton became an icon of the Broadway stage, he glimpsed the harrowing qualities of a man like Donald Trump. He did not like what he saw. As his definitive biographer, Ron Chernow, makes clear, Hamilton was an advocate of strong executive power, yet he also envisaged the rise of a demagogue who would put liberty and the rule of law at risk, and place his own interests before those of the country. Writing to George Washington, in 1792, Hamilton seemed to anticipate our current moment and the con on the golden escalator: When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents … is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to…