Nonfiction

RECENT REVIEWS

How the Humanities Will Save the World

How the Humanities Will Save the World

AT A DINNER GATHERING not long ago, some friends and colleagues were discussing ways to tackle intractable social problems: entrenched inequality, persistant discrimination, nihilistic extremists, cul...

A New Collection of California Prose

A New Collection of California Prose

A YEAR AGO, Outpost19, an independent press based in San Francisco and New York, published the first California Prose Directory, a compilation of fiction and nonfiction edited by Coloradan Charles McL...

The Fight for America’s Classrooms

The Fight for America’s Classrooms

IN 2008, Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard University, released a remarkable work of American history. This Republic of Suffering assigned new historical significance to the more than 600,00...

O Pioneer

O Pioneer

WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, my biology teacher took our class to the Mütter Museum, a medical museum in Philadelphia housing specimens that were odd, curious, and often grotesque. Visiting the museum ...

The Gospel of Paul

The Gospel of Paul

IOWA CITY — set amid low hills of genetically engineered commercial crop an hour west of the Mississippi, bisected by the Iowa River, afflicted by floods, tornados, downpours of seemingly tropical ...

Muttnik: Canine Rocketeers in the USSR

Muttnik: Canine Rocketeers in the USSR

THE MISSILE HURTLED to its mark, a wilderness somewhere between the Moon and Moscow. A minute earlier, it had engulfed the Baikonur Cosmodrome in a kerosene inferno. Now the awestruck apparatchiks, th...

Evolution Between the Sofa Cushions

Evolution Between the Sofa Cushions

IMAGINE an insecticide-soaked mattress crawling with bedbugs. You now have a metaphor for the future of our relationship to the living world. In the second half of the 20th century, synthetic pesticid...

Fatal Attraction: Love and Murder in Tennessee

Fatal Attraction: Love and Murder in Tennessee

WHEN SHE WAS 19, Alice Mitchell fell in love. She wanted to get married, but knew she would need a plan: first for securing her beloved with a proposal and engagement ring; then for working out the lo...

When a River Is a World: Twigger on the Nile

When a River Is a World: Twigger on the Nile

WHILE ON A HUNTING EXPEDITION in the Balkans in 1859, British explorer Samuel Baker made a stop — along with his travel companion, a maharaja from India — at a slave market town in what is now Bul...

Lawyers, Liars, and the Art of Storytelling

Lawyers, Liars, and the Art of Storytelling

Former federal prosecutor and highly successful television writer Jonathan Shapiro has written a new book titled Lawyers, Liars, and the Art of Storytelling. In the book Shapiro dissects the buildin...

Chasing the Origins of Gonzo in South America

Chasing the Origins of Gonzo in South America

IN COLLEGE Brian Kevin read Hunter S. Thompson’s The Proud Highway, a collection of the gonzo’s letters from the 1950s and 1960s, including 18 from the year he spent traveling through South Americ...

Varieties of Hatred

Varieties of Hatred

WHY DID THE Nazis kill the Jews? Nearly 70 years since the end of World War II, the causes and meaning of the Holocaust remain as high on historians’ agendas as ever. Over the years, a wide range o...