Culture & Literature
The New York Review of Books

The New York Review of Books November 8 - 2018

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.

United States
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20 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

DAVID BROMWICH is Sterling Professor of English at Yale. His recent books include The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke and Moral Imagination, a collection of essays. ROBYN CRESWELL is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Yale. His book City of Beginnings: Poetic Modernism in Beirut will be published this fall. SUSAN DUNN, the Massachusetts Professor of Humanities at Williams, is the author of 1940: FDR, Willkie, Lindbergh, Hitler—the Election Amid the Storm. Her latest book is A Blueprint for War: FDR and the Hundred Days that Mobilized America. MARK FORD’s fourth collection of poetry, Enter, Fleeing, was published earlier this year. ANNETTE GORDON-REED is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and Professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. She is the author of…

10 min.
how republicans became anti-choice

Reversing Roe a documentary film directed and produced by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg It is impossible to understand American politics of the past half-century without taking abortion into account. The Brett Kavanaugh charade most recently, the machinations of the Republican Party more generally, and the infectious fundamentalism creeping into everyday life: all begin with abortion. Other issues may have been as divisive—civil rights comes to mind—but none has been as definitional. These days, the litmus test for Republicans running for political office or nominated to the judiciary is opposition to abortion. On the Democratic side, it is almost equally crucial to be prochoice. Yet as the Netflix documentary Reversing Roe ably shows, this was not always the case. Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision establishing a woman’s constitutional right to…

2 min.
new books from gagosian

1 Giuseppe Penone: The Inner Life of Forms is a new examination of the artist’s more-than-forty-year career, revealing what constitutes sculpture through the interplay between the human body, nature, and art. Four new essays by Tim Ingold, Rémi Labrusse, Emily Braun, and Salvatore Settis and a conversation between the artist and the book’s editor, Carlos Basualdo, appear in one volume, while twelve insightful texts by Daniela Lancioni, each an independent booklet, investigate the main typologies that constitute the work’s organizing principles. 13 paperbacks in box, 490 pages, $200. Limited edition with etching: edition of 50, $5000 USD; edition of 200, $2500 USD Related Events: Penone and Basualdo will discuss the monograph at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Friday, November 9, at 6pm; and at the Greene Space, New York, on Saturday,…

1 min.
my confession

Immortal soul, I did not believe in you. Against the age’s preference, I wanted for your markings and historythe markings and history of, say, a small zebra— slightly implausible, far from unique, one visible pelt meant to disappear into the crowded many, one dark stripe alive among the crowded many. You seemed to want to go on separately.You seemed to want elsewhere, and more. I wanted less. One moment to pausewhile setting kibble out in a dish for the calico catwho might or might notbe inside the box when it finally opens. One goldfinch holding the whole Mesozoic discovery, hunting for seeds and hungry, escaping, a few moments longer, the cat also hungry. This dilemma cannot be solved, and will be. My immortal soul, perhaps you went into an Archelon ischyros, swimming with its sea-turtle nose above…

17 min.
fighting to vote

The Embattled Vote in America: From the Founding to the Present by Allan J. Lichtman. Harvard University Press, 315 pp., $27.95 If you grew up, as I did, in the 1960s and 1970s, watching (albeit through a child’s eyes) the civil rights movement notch victory after victory, you could be forgiven for thinking at the time that that happy condition was normal. By high school, in the late 1970s, I began reading some history and learning about the struggles people endured to win the right to vote in this country. I thought then that these battles were over and done and won—that a new consensus had been achieved. This state of affairs extended into the 1980s, and my view was reinforced by the observation that even conservative Republicans seemed to share in that consensus.…

13 min.
a bosch for us now

Into Words: The Selected Writings of Carroll Dunham edited and with a foreword by Paul Chan, and an introduction by Scott Rothkopf. Badlands Unlimited, 230 pp., $24.99 (paper) Carroll Dunham: Wrestlers catalog of an exhibition at Blum and Poe, Los Angeles, April 28–June 17, 2017, with an essay by Alexi Worth. Blum and Poe, 74 pp., $48.00 Carroll Dunham an exhibition at the Gladstone Gallery, New York City, April 20–June 22, 2018 It is an odd fact of publishing life that perhaps the most notable collections of art criticism to have appeared in recent times have been written by artists. In 2016 the painter David Salle brought out his criticism in How to See, and now Carroll Dunham, who is also a painter, has assembled his art writing in Into Words. Like How to See, it is a…