Reviews
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Border Fight
Regaining Control

A new book seeks to rein in the rhetorical excesses on both sides of the immigration divide.

T.S. Eliot, 1923 (Wikimedia Commons)
A Study in Poetry
Eliot the Enigmatic

A new collection of “The Essential T.S. Eliot” samples his poetic genius, but fails to meet the modern reader halfway.

SABRINA LANTOS/FX
Weekend Watch
Will the Real Mrs. America Please Stand Up?

FX’s fictionalized take on Phyllis Schlafly asks a question that’s still with us today: Who gets to claim the mantle of a women’s movement?

Retroview
When the Monsters Come Due

Sixty years later, the most portentous episode of The Twilight Zone resonates for its chilling study of paranoia and mob psychology.

Twilight of the Intellectuals
Plumbing the Allure of Authoritarianism

Anne Applebaum’s new book grapples with why former friends abandoned liberalism as authoritarianism gained ground across the West.

Photo by Molly Adams via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
E Pluribus Unum
“Stagnant Dreamers” in Southern California

Is the Golden State really the gold standard for assimilating immigrants? Four books illustrate the tensions, trade-offs, and ironies of California’s immigration policies.

“The Best Man” poster detail via Pinterest
Retroview
May the Best Man Win

Gore Vidal’s 1964 political drama is a study in the ethics of mudslinging, which remains all too relevant as we enter this year’s election season.

J.M.W. Turner, “Bell Rock Lighthouse” (Wikimedia Commons)
Liberty and Liberalism
Stormy Weather

A recent essay collection from Vladimir Tismaneanu and Bogdan Iacob surveys the “ideological storms” that challenged liberalism in the 20th century—and offers a cautionary tale about the seductions of illiberalism today.

(Courtesy of Criterion Collection)
Retroview
The Radical Empathy of Do the Right Thing

More than 30 years later, Spike Lee’s classic resonates for its honest attention to interracial tensions, and its sad observation of how legitimate grievances can spiral out of control.

(Wikimedia Commons)
Einstein in Bohemia
All Roads Lead from Prague

A new book by Michael Gordin shows how 16 months in Prague formed a young Albert Einstein—and the shape of science, politics, and intellectual history to come.

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