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Courtesy of the Criterion Collection
At the Movies
The Populist Parable of A Face in the Crowd

Elia Kazan’s 1957 classic is a prescient warning about the power of demagogues, which remains all too relevant more than 60 years later.

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Diego Rivera, “Detroit Industry, South Wall” mural detail (Detroit Institute of Arts)
Threat Perception and Tech Policy
How to Jump-Start America—and Why 


A new book makes a strong case for a national push to spur innovation—but it fails to connect dots when it comes to the China threat.

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(Wikipedia Commons)
The Demon In Analogy
“A Catholic Reactionary and a Black Feminist Walk into a Bar…”

What do they have in common? More than you might think.

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(The Siege of Missolonghi, Wikipedia Commons)
Ancients vs. Moderns
Who Are the Greeks?

Roderick Beaton’s sweeping, sympathetic history of modern Greece illustrates the tension between two kinds of nationalism—and ultimately, between two kinds of freedom.

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Getting Russia Right
Putin, Unclassified

A new book is as sharp and precise as any top secret briefing on Russia’s authoritarian President might be. But for all the great detail, it gets part of the big picture wrong.

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RKO Pictures
Vegetative Vampires
Howard Hawks’s The Thing and Our Echo Chamber Age

In the 1951 classic, an otherworldly being feeds on all-too-human fears—and shows how bonds can fragment in a climate of paranoia and distrust.

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On the Stage
De-Aeschylation

In the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s new Oresteia, humanism ex machina doesn’t save the day.

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Wikimedia Commons
Slaughterhouse-Five at 50
A Triumphant Failure

There’s nothing intelligent to say about a massacre, wrote Kurt Vonnegut of his book about the firebombing of Dresden. So why are we still reading it a half-century later?

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Seán Keating, “Men of the South” (Crawford Art Gallery)
An Irish Homecoming
Your Roots Shall Make Ye Free

In his new memoir, Michael Brendan Dougherty rages against the atomizing effects of modern liberalism—and finds comfort in the binding ties of family, nation, and Church.

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Film still via Wikimedia Commons
Silver Screen Reflections
The Magnificent Ambersons and the Age of Disruption

More than 75 years after its release, Orson Welles’s classic holds up as a visionary social prophecy.

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We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.