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The New Yorker

The New Yorker December 23, 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.

Benjamin Wallace-Wells (“High Hopes,” p. 66), a contributor to the magazine since 2006, became a staff writer in 2015. Sarah Larson (“Leaning Into Christmas,” p. 46) is a staff writer. Her column, Podcast Dept., appears on The New Yorker’s Web site. Peter Schjeldahl (“77 Sunset Me,” p. 34) has been the magazine’s art critic since 1998. In June, he published “Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light: 100 Art Writings, 1988-2018.” Alexandra Schwartz (The Theatre, p. 90), a theatre critic for the magazine, became a staff writer in 2016. Emily Nussbaum (On Television, p. 92) won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for criticism. She is the author of “I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution.” Charles Bethea (The Talk of the Town, p. 30), a staff writer, has contributed to The New Yorker since 2008.…

3 min.
the mail

TRUTH AND JUSTICE Jennifer Gonnerman’s article about the Parole Preparation Project deserves applause for raising awareness about our broken parole system, and for describing the reality faced by thousands of “long-termers” in prison (“The Interview,” December 2nd). After working for the New York City Board of Correction, I sat on the New York State Board of Parole for twelve years. There, I met hundreds of people applying for a second chance at life, and I worked closely with the political appointees to the board, who mostly came from law-enforcement backgrounds. Recent community conversations have centered on facilitating “decarceration” through bail reform, increased probation monitoring, and the closing of Rikers Island—all of which are necessary fixes to our justice system. But, until paroling becomes a professional discipline, release decisions will continue to be…

39 min.
goings on about town: this week

During Agnès Varda’s sixty-five-year career, the director, who died in March, at the age of ninety, redefined the art of filmmaking as both personal and political. She freely blended experience and fantasy, documentary exploration and aesthetic confection, as in her 1977 feature, “One Sings, the Other Doesn’t” (above, on set), a musical drama about two women’s longtime friendship amid the rise of feminism and the fight to legalize abortion. It screens in Lincoln Center’s retrospective of her films, which opens on Dec. 20. ART “Private Lives, Public Spaces” Museum of Modern Art This wonderful show of home movies and other overlooked footage in MOMA’s collection may be the sleeper hit of the museum’s reopening. Many hours of mostly Super-8 and 16-mm. works are shown across a hundred screens—a taste of the cinematic revolution spurred…

3 min.
tables for two: green garden village

On a recent evening, as I left Green Garden Village, a Cantonese restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown, I began to formulate a novel argument: that the neighborhood gets short shrift as a culinary destination, that its reputation as irredeemably diminished—and less exciting than the Chinatowns of Flushing, Sunset Park, and Bensonhurst—is unjust. Then I walked by 218, a Cantonese restaurant next door. There, in the window, was a framed Times article making exactly this assertion. “The big secret in Chinese food these days is right out in the open,” wrote Eric Asimov. “It’s Chinatown—Manhattan Chinatown—where the food … is as good or better than it’s ever been.” It was published in 2003. So my case is not new—but some of the best restaurants are, including Green Garden Village, which opened earlier this year,…

5 min.
comment: mission: impeachment

Amid the many words spoken—some passionate, some false, some bitter—in the late-night session of the House Judiciary Committee last Wednesday, one line, in a speech by Represen tative Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia, had particular resonance. Johnson quoted Fiona Hill, a former national-security official who, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, had described a “blowup” she had had with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, with regard to Ukraine. After hearing Sondland’s own testimony to the committee, Hill said, she’d had an epiphany about the source of their conflict: though she’d believed that they were both engaged in the grand mission of foreign policy, the President had actually dispatched Sondland on “a domestic political errand.” That errand, Johnson said, was to make Ukrainian officials “an offer they…

4 min.
family dinner: touch my hat

Bryson Gray, a twenty-eight-year-old rapper who has opened for 50 Cent and 2Chainz, was sitting in front of his computer at his house, in Greensboro, North Carolina, one recent Saturday, wearing a MAGA bucket hat, tiger-stripe jeans, and a T-shirt that read “Where’s Hunter?” Gray was fiddling with the second verse of a song he’d recorded, called “Pro Life Pro God Pro Trump,” for his forthcoming album, “MAGA Ain’t Got No Color.” He turned up the volume. “Touch my hat and you might get beat/these are Yeezy’s on my feet.” It went on: Trump 2020 that’s big factsNo I can’t vote for no DemocratUsed to be a liberal but I switched thatPull up to yo hood in my big hat “People are always threatening to take my hat, like it’s a chain,”…