Review

Fatal Vision: Joel Coen’s ‘Macbeth’

Fatal Vision: Joel Coen’s ‘Macbeth’

“I am in this earthly world, where to do harm / Is often laudable, to do good / Sometime accounted dangerous folly.” So says Lady Macduff in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Moments later, she and her entire family—innocents all—are slaughtered. The triumph of Joel Coen’s film adaptation is that it

Marilyn Simon
Marilyn Simon
7 min read
Art and Culture
Authority and Freedom: A Defense of the Arts—A Review

Authority and Freedom: A Defense of the Arts—A Review

A review of Authority and Freedom: A Defense of the Arts by Jed Perl. Knopf, 176 pages. (January, 2022) Plug “relevance” into the search field of the website for Artforum, and 16 results pop up from 2021 alone. Relevance is the dominant aesthetic criterion of our time, and lack thereof

Franklin Einspruch
Franklin Einspruch
7 min read
Arts and Culture
The Case Against the Case Against AI

The Case Against the Case Against AI

A review of The Age of AI and Our Human Future by Henry A. Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher. Little, Brown and Company, 272 pages (November, 2021). Potential bridges across the menacing chasm of incompatible ideas are being demolished by a generation of wannabe autocrats presenting alternative facts as

Peter L. Levin
Peter L. Levin
8 min read
Science / Tech
The Free-ish World

The Free-ish World

A review of World in Danger: Germany and Europe in an Uncertain Time by Wolfgang Ischinger, Brookings, 280 pages (November, 2020) Every winter in Bavaria, the great and the good from Europe and the United States gather to take stock of the threats facing the world. The Munich Security Conference

Brian Stewart
Brian Stewart
7 min read
Politics
Burgis on Hitchens—Getting Radicalism Wrong

Burgis on Hitchens—Getting Radicalism Wrong

A review of Christopher Hitchens: What He Got Right, How He Went Wrong, and Why He Still Matters by Ben Burgis, Zero Books, 160 pages (January 2021) December 15th marked the 10th anniversary of Christopher Hitchens’s death, an occasion that produced a renewed flurry of think-pieces pontificating about his

Matt Johnson
Matt Johnson
14 min read
Politics
The Aristocracy of Talent—A Review

The Aristocracy of Talent—A Review

A review of The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World by Adrian Wooldridge. Allen Lane, 464 pages (June 2021) Marcus Tullius Cicero was one of the most important literary figures of the ancient world, and today the study of Latin is divided between those who favor Cicero's

Razib Khan
Razib Khan
11 min read
Education
High White Notes: The Rise and Fall of Gonzo Journalism—A Review

High White Notes: The Rise and Fall of Gonzo Journalism—A Review

A review of High White Notes: The Rise and Fall of Gonzo Journalism by David S. Wills. Beatdom Books, 555 pages. (November 2021) I. In High White Notes, his riveting new biography of Hunter S. Thompson, journalist David S. Wills describes Thompson as America’s first rock star reporter and

Kevin Mims
Kevin Mims
24 min read
Art and Culture
Deliberately Divided—A Review

Deliberately Divided—A Review

A Review of Deliberately Divided: Inside the Controversial Study of Twins and Triplets Adopted Apart by Nancy L. Segal. Rowman & Littlefield, 520 pages (November, 2021) When I first heard about the Louise Wise Services-Child Development Center (LWS-CDC) twin study, I was shocked but also skeptical. A doctor had separated

Bo Winegard
Bo Winegard
8 min read
Science / Tech