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© Salzburger Festspiele / Ruth Walz
Opera for a Shattered World
All’s Atonal on the Western Front

This year’s Salzburg Festival performance of Alban Berg’s 1925 opera Wozzeck captures the essence of World War I and the violent potential of mankind’s dehumanizing tendencies.

A Dismal Performance

Much like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expected the Great Recession. Why didn’t America’s highly paid economists have a clue? Will they ever get their act together?

Patrick Christain/Getty Images
Ken Burns's The Vietnam War
The War That Never Ends

The Vietnam War gets Ken Burns’s signature “docutainment” treatment, and the result is a worthy one, if not always up to full scholarly standards.

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Presidential Power
Doing the Impossible

Jeremi Suri’s The Impossible Presidency grounds contemporary debates about the presidency in a historical understanding of the office—and shows why its recent occupants don’t measure up.

Philosophy & Policy
To Whom Respect Is Due

Matthew B. Crawford’s The World Beyond Your Head is a thoughtful philosophical discourse on modernity and its discontents—with plenty of resonance for our current political moment.


Or how to “throw” your screen.

Keystone/Getty Images
Food for Thought
They Were What They Ate

How much does the contents of one’s plate reflect the content of one’s character? One new book argues: quite a lot.

Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera
The Once and Future Macbeth

Verdi’s opera Macbeth showcases in thrilling music the crux of Shakespeare’s play: that humans have free will, and suffer the consequences.

The Lost Leviathan

Perry Anderson’s critique of liberal hegemony was written before Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in November of last year. And in a way, Trump’s election might serve as a vindication of Anderson’s attack.

Justin Sullivan/Staff
Racism and Incarceration
Locked In

“Racism” is the easy answer to the question of how America’s prisons got so full of African Americans. A new book offers a more complex and hopeful view.

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