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Category: Culture

Kitchen Nightmares

by Jenny Blair | Mar 1, 2012 | Books, Environment

So asks a Brooklyn teenager in the question at the heart of Tracie McMillan’s ambitious The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table. Writers on food rarely focus on why people eat what they do when their choices are scant. McMillan, a journalist who has long covered a […]

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Hotheaded, Flat-Footed & Powerful

by Scott McLemee | Feb 15, 2012 | Books, Culture

It actually makes journalism sound fairly enticing. It’s a gross overstatement, though. Most working reporters I’ve met have been very conscientious in exercising whatever little clout they wield. Become the foreign-affairs columnist for one of the world’s leading newspapers, though, and all fetters are off. The only limits that remain are those of the imagination, as Thomas […]

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It’s a Dry Heat (and Getting Hotter)

by Osha Gray Davidson | Feb 1, 2012 | Books, Culture

…as William deBuys demonstrates in his wonderful new book, A Great Aridness. DeBuys, an accomplished New Mexico writer and conservationist, understands that a lack of water is what gives this iconic landscape its impossibly blue skies and unique wildlife. But life in these arid lands is a precarious affair. Death or even extinction is never more […]

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After the Fall

by Geoff Rips | Dec 15, 2011 | Books, Economy

As Lawrence Lessig explains in Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It (TWELVE, 383 pp., $26.99), the disastrous nibble for American democracy was the change in the relationship between money and power. It may not have been a fall from Eden, but it was a headlong descent from the […]

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Sophisticated Kitsch and Mac Attacks

by Gene Seymour | Dec 1, 2011 | Books, Culture

Dwight Macdonald (1906–82) represented the first best example of a critic who could do productive, even transformative, things going in one direction while everyone else went another. Skeptical spectators and aspiring smart alecks drew encouragement not only from Macdonald’s conscientious objections, but from their method. He could twist the dial from “sarcastic” to “sardonic” with a compound […]

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