Culture & Literature
The New York Review of Books

The New York Review of Books October 24, 2019

For over 50 years, The New York Review of Books has been the place where the world's leading authors, scientists, educators, artists, and political leaders turn when they wish to engage in a spirited debate on literature, politics, art, and ideas with a small but influential audience that welcomes the challenge. Each issue addresses some of the most passionate political and cultural controversies of the day, and reviews the most engrossing new books and the ideas that illuminate them. Get The New York Review of Books digital magazine subscription today.

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20 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

SAUDIARABIEN From Napa to Pompeii Charles Frankel Frankel takes us across the stunning and dangerous world of volcanic wines. He details each volcano’s most famous eruptions, the grapes that grow in its soils, and the people who make their homes on its slopes, adapting to an ever-menacing landscape. Cloth $27.50 Move On Up Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power Aaron Cohen “Cohen marries scholarly erudition with sincere musical affection in this intriguing look at Chicago soul.”—Library Journal Paper $20.00 Ahab’s Rolling Sea A Natural History of Moby-Dick Richard J. King “A marvelous guide to the magic and mystery that was Melville’s gift to us, for King reveals the deep, deep backstory of the making of Moby-Dick.”—Carl Safina, author of Song for the Blue Ocean Cloth $30.00 Cloth $30.00 A Year of Quotes Jane Austen Edited and with a Foreword by Devoney Looser The Daily Jane Austen will…

3 min.

JOHN BANVILLE’s latest novel is Mrs. Osmond. DAVID COLE is the National Legal Director of the ACLU and the Honorable George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at the Georgetown University Law Center. His latest book is Engines of Liberty: How Citizen Movements Succeed. JASON FARAGO is an art critic for The New York Times and the editor of the recent anthology Out of Practice: Ten Issues of “Even,”2015–18. In 2017 he was awarded the inaugural Rabkin Prize for art criticism. TIMOTHY GARTON ASH is Professor of European Studies and Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. A new edition of his book The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of ’89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague will be…

1 min.
rebel rebel

TEDGIOIA MUSIC A Subversive History “One of the most perceptive writers on music has cut a wide swath down the path of history, illuminating details often left in the shadows.… A mind-opening and totally engaging read!” —TERRY RILEY “In this excellent history, music critic Gioiadazzles with tales of how music grew out of violence, sex, and rebellion.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review) “A fast-reading big picture that takes in Roman pantomime riots, Occitan troubadours, churchbells, blues, Afrofuturism, surveillance capitalism, and much more. A must for music heads.” —NED SUBLETTE, author of The World That Made New Orleans basicbooks.com…

28 min.
fascinated to presume: in defense of fiction

I’ve always been aware of being an inconsistent personality. Of having a lot of contradictory voices knocking around my head. As a kid, I was ashamed of it. Other people seemed to feel strongly about themselves, to know exactly who they were. I was never like that. I could never shake the suspicion that everything about me was the consequence of a series of improbable accidents—not least of which was the 400 trillion–to-one accident of my birth. As I saw it, even my strongest feelings and convictions might easily be otherwise, had I been the child of the next family down the hall, or the child of another century, another country, another God. My mind wandered. To give a concrete example: if the Pakistani girl next door happened to be painting…

2 min.
yale university press

“A fascinatingly detailed account of one of the most important years of Winston Churchill’s life.”—Anne de Courcy, author of The Viceroy's Daughters “Lakota America is beautifully researched, persuasively argued, and Justifiably audacious in its reach and implications. It is both a landmark in American Indian history and a provocative rethinking of North American history generally.”—Elliott West, University of Arkansas The Lamar Series in Western History “Sustainability represents the overarching challenge of our day, which must be met with a commitment to a spirit of progress across the global community. A better Planet offers an array of ideas for helping to deliver the ecological transition that is now an imperative.”—Emmanuel Macron, President of France “A major contribution to our understanding of the American Revolution. Lockwood demonstrates… an eye for telling detail and graceful prose…

1 min.
in a cloud in a wall in a chair

NOW OPEN Catalogue available at publications.artic.edu. Major funding for In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury is provided by the Gordon and Carole Segal Exhibition Fund; the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation; Margot Levin Schiff and the Harold Schiff Foundation; and Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and Don Kaul. Additional support is provided by Maria and William D. Smithburg; Kimberly M. Snyder; the George Lill Foundation Endowment; Nada Andric and James Goettsch; Noelle C. Brock and Thomas E. Keim; the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; the Butler-VanderLinden Family Fund; the Terra Foundation for American Art; The Danielson Foundation; and CNA. Members of the Exhibitions Trust provide annual leadership support for the museum’s operations, including exhibition development, conservation and collection care, and educational programming. The…