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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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Jean-Baptiste-Camille-Corot, “Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld” (Wikimedia Commons)
Hadestown on Broadway
Orpheus and the Wall

Broadway’s latest smash is a vivid reimagining of the Orpheus myth for our own troubled times.

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(Julio de Diego, Art Institute of Chicago)
Mossad Mythology
Israel’s Multiple Identities

Matti Friedman’s Spies of No Country is a compelling tale of Israeli espionage. But more than that, it is a meditation on Israel’s national origin story.

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Liberalism vs. Feminism
#MeToo Eats Itself

The pre-emptive strike on Joe Biden has failed. Will the movement fail with it?

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(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Lone Star Literature
A Texas Tale: Billy Lee Brammer and The Gay Place

In 1961, a young LBJ aide wrote the greatest political novel you’ve never heard of—and then vanished into drug-fueled obscurity. A new biography tells his story.

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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.