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James Laughlin’s New Directions

James Laughlin’s New Directions

WRITERS DON’T MAKE themselves great. They don’t will themselves into prominence or create their own admiring audiences. The brilliance of their writing doesn’t elevate them from obscurity to em...

Xinjiang Stories

Xinjiang Stories

ON MAPS TODAY, China’s Central Asian regions are labeled Xinjiang, literally designating the “New Territories” annexed to the Chinese state during the Qing imperial conquests of the 1750s. In th...

1916 Revisited

1916 Revisited

AS YOU WALK around the center of Dublin, two kinds of metal plaques — of roughly similar size — may catch your eye. One set is embedded in the sidewalks and commemorates a fictitious event: Leopol...

19th Century Paris: Terrorism's Training Ground

19th Century Paris: Terrorism's Training Ground

“AS THE WORLD CHURNS” is the story of our times. We all know the plot line: the revolutionary advances in technology and science, industry and education, communication and transportation that tran...

Hans Fallada

Hans Fallada

NIEDERKIRCHNERSTRASSE IN BERLIN must be the eeriest street I have ever walked down. Its old and notorious name, Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, pulses through Hans Fallada’s rediscovered 1947 novel Every Ma...

A Visit with Mary Beard

A Visit with Mary Beard

The following is a feature article from the newly released LARB Quarterly Journal: Spring 2014 edition. To pick up your copy of the Journal, become a member of the Los Angeles Review of Books at the $...

The 'Inevitable' World War

The 'Inevitable' World War

Gavrilo Princip on a Serbian wall, 2014; photo by Magyar Hírlap. Today is the 100th anniversary of the day Britain declared war on Germany.  ¤ IT IS, PERHAPS, INEVITABLE that 100 years after the...

The Era of the Geographically Confused

The Era of the Geographically Confused

MY LIFE IS FUNDAMENTALLY ABSURD: this is a line that engraved itself on my mind after reading Jane Jeong Trenka’s 2005 memoir, The Language of Blood, some years ago. The book documents Trenka’s ex...

The Love Letters of Heinrich Himmler

The Love Letters of Heinrich Himmler

In life, one must always be decent, courageous and kind-hearted.          — Heinrich Himmler to his 12-year-old daughter Gudrun in 1941 ¤ IN 2006 a cache of letters and diaries written by He...