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The New Yorker

The New Yorker November 21, 2016

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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47 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

Toni Morrison (“Aftermath,” p. 54) is the author of twelve novels, from “The Bluest Eye” to “God Help the Child.” In 1993, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She lives in New York. Adrian Chen (“The Tough Guy,” p. 66) became a staff writer in 2016. Peter Hessler (“Aftermath,” p. 52) is a staff writer living in Ridgway, Colorado. He is writing a book about the five years he spent reporting from Egypt. Jill Lepore (“Esmé in Neverland,” p. 34; “Aftermath,” p. 59), a professor of history at Harvard, is writing a history of the United States. George Packer (“Aftermath,” p. 48) is a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center of the New York Public Library, and at New America. “The Unwinding” is his latest book. Atul Gawande (“Aftermath,” p.…

3 min.
the mail

THE RESISTANCE Sam Altman, the tech wunderkind profiled by Tad Friend, is quoted as saying, “Democracy only works in a growing economy. Without a return to economic growth, the democratic experiment will fail” (“Adding a Zero,” October 10th). Doomsday prediction aside, democracy is a tool that people use to make decisions together. You can find democracy at your local PTA, at community meetings and block parties—wherever people are free to decide among themselves what happens next. To suggest that democracy relies on economic growth to exist is to forget that social change is created not by big companies backed by venture capitalists but by actual human beings. Andrew Seeder Somerville, Mass. Altman seems almost like the leader of a Nietzschean doomsday cult— or, at the very least, a villain from one of the early…

38 min.
goings on about town

Classical music’s chamber wing has become a small home for big experiments in cross-genre fertilization. The Le Boeuf Brothers (Pascal on piano, Remy on saxophone), prodigious twins from Santa Cruz, are clearing their own path, mixing the solid swing of the jazz tradition with hip-hop, indie rock, and the complex techniques of classical modernism. With their sidemen, they join the ever-ready JACK Quartet in a concert at National Sawdust on Nov. 16 that celebrates the release of their new album, “imaginist.” Dorrance Dance Michelle Dorrance, the MacArthur-awardwinning tap choreographer, brings her tightly constructed, spirit-lifting 2013 show “The Blues Project” back to the Joyce. Driven by the raucous live music of Toshi Reagon and her band, BIGLovely, Dorrance’s crew of affable, expert hoofers—including the virtuosic co-choreographers Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards—entertain greatly…

2 min.

Time Flies David Vaughan and Pepper Fajans conjure the spirit of Merce Cunningham. MERCE CUNNINGHAM, as his death drew near, decided that when he was gone his company would not struggle forward without new repertory. Instead, it would stick its chin up, go on an international tour, and then close its doors. So it happened. Cunningham died in 2009. The company toured until 2011, and then folded. Many of Cunningham’s works are available for other companies to license, but there is no longer a Cunningham season in New York every spring. The river has flowed back into the sea. No one, however, would argue that the sea was not changed thereby. Cunningham was one of the leaders in the move toward abstraction that American dance underwent in the mid-twentieth century, and which signalled…

2 min.
classical music

Voice of the Viola A young composer gets the chance of a lifetime with the Philharmonic. WHEN NEW YORK Philharmonic audiences hear the first performances of Julia Adolphe’s viola concerto “Unearth, Release” (Nov. 17-19), they may not realize the amount of labor that goes into creating an orchestral piece from scratch: the concerto lasts approximately nineteen minutes and took about a year to compose. Adolphe, who is twenty-eight years old and is completing a doctorate at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, received the commission in late 2014, after winning a competition at the American Composers Orchestra. She met with Cynthia Phelps, the Philharmonic’s principal violist, who will be the soloist in the première, and studied her sound. Adolphe began sketching, on paper and on the computer; she went…

3 min.
above & beyond

Cranksgiving As the holiday season draws near, tradition nudges us to consider all the things for which we’re grateful, and to turn our gaze toward the less fortunate. Still, not everyone is stirred by a can drive, a pledge campaign, or a soup-kitchen sign-up sheet—some people want adventure with their altruism. Cranksgiving bills itself as “part bike ride, part food drive, part scavenger hunt,” calling on city residents to whiz between markets, snatching up items to be donated to the Bowery Mission. It’s a fun concept for a noble cause, and it has fed hundreds of families each Thanksgiving since its inception, in 1999. (The ride starts at Hudson Yards, at Eleventh Ave. and 34th St. cranksgiving.org. Nov. 19 at 1.) AUCTIONS AND ANTIQUES In this, the busiest week of the fall season,…