Politics

Government Fails the Mentally Ill

Government Fails the Mentally Ill

For the past two and a half years, I’ve reported from across the country on the multiple, slow-burning financial disasters unfolding in low-income communities. One of the most common issues I’ve encountered, whether I’m speaking with moms in Kentu...

Americans suffering from mental illness often have trouble finding good treatment they can afford, in large part due to cuts to needed government programs.

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A GOP Senate? Why It Won't Come Easy

A GOP Senate? Why It Won't Come Easy

Will the Republican finally wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats?  The New York Times fixes the odds of that happening at 2-to-1. But, for the Republicans to make that a reality, they must defeat at least three incumbent senators and tak...

With President Obama’s approval rating under water, Republicans should be poised to win big this November. So why are they struggling in the polls?

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Fact-Checking the Sunday Shows

Fact-Checking the Sunday Shows

By Steve Contorno and Katie SandersPresident Barack Obama’s lack of a clear strategy to confront the Islamic State set off resounding frustration among Republicans Sunday.U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., lamented Obama’s reluctance compared to tough ...

From Obama's lack of strategy against ISIS to Rick Perry's indictment, PunditFact checks the talking heads against the record.

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Government Fails the Mentally Ill

Government Fails the Mentally Ill

For the past two and a half years, I’ve reported from across the country on the multiple, slow-burning financial disasters unfolding in low-income communities. One of the most common issues I’ve encountered, whether I’m speaking with moms in Kentu...

Americans suffering from mental illness often have trouble finding good treatment they can afford, in large part due to cuts to needed government programs.

Keep Reading

Michele Bachmann Was Right?

Michele Bachmann Was Right?

Michele Bachmann was right.No, the HPV vaccine still doesn’t cause retardation and historians have yet to uncover evidence that the American Revolution actually began in New Hampshire.  But it turns out the Minnesota Republican was dead on when sh...

When Michele Bachmann claimed in 2011 that a supporter had been bribed to defect to Ron Paul, observers rolled their eyes. It turns out she was telling the truth.

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McConnell Campaign Manager Resigns

McConnell Campaign Manager Resigns

Jesse Benton, a confidant of Sen. Rand Paul as well as campaign manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, resigned on Friday amid a growing scandal stemming from his time working on Rep. Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. Benton’s re...

Paid endorsements, cover-ups, lying to investigators… Illegalities by a lowly Iowa state senator’s campaign in 2012 shake up Kentucky politics.

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Entertainment

American Ninja Warrior Woman

American Ninja Warrior Woman

Rather than the black camouflage in which they are commonly depicted, legend has it that the first “proto”-ninja disguised himself as a woman to assassinate a rival. It is fitting then, that New Jersey native Kacy Catanzaro may become the American...

Her qualifying run—a blistering 8 minutes 59 seconds and 53 hundredths of a second—has been seen by 8 million. Can Kacy Catanzaro be the first woman to win 'American Ninja Warrio...

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The Feminist Aesthetic of ‘Happy Valley’

The Feminist Aesthetic of ‘Happy Valley’

Crime dramas have never been easy on women. Until very recently, the best a woman could hope for was a role as a supporting character whose destiny was limited to propping up the genius of a male protagonist, while the inevitable worst ranged from...

‘Happy Valley’ has magically transformed the crime drama genre by decoupling the violence against women from the suspense that keeps us watching.

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Growing Up with Bart Simpson

Growing Up with Bart Simpson

It’s 1993, I am eight years old, and my parents won’t let me watch The Simpsons. Their reasoning has to do with a mischievous, spikey-haired 10-year-old boy named Bart Simpson. Oh they have heard all sorts of terrible things about Bart—that he is ...

I spent my childhood chasing after Marge and Homer’s only son, a character who began his life as a delinquent but evolved into one of the most important icons of the 20th century.

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Michael Sam Belongs In The NFL

Michael Sam Belongs In The NFL

Here’s the sad part of this story. Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team, was one of the final cuts Saturday by the St. Louis Rams.As a 7th round pick, the odds that he’d survive training camp weren’t great to begin...

Despite being cut by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, and ESPN’s homophobic story, the hybrid defensive lineman impressed in the preseason and deserves to make an NFL roster.

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The Feminist Aesthetic of ‘Happy Valley’

The Feminist Aesthetic of ‘Happy Valley’

Crime dramas have never been easy on women. Until very recently, the best a woman could hope for was a role as a supporting character whose destiny was limited to propping up the genius of a male protagonist, while the inevitable worst ranged from...

‘Happy Valley’ has magically transformed the crime drama genre by decoupling the violence against women from the suspense that keeps us watching.

Keep Reading

A Flawed Portrait of Boyhood in America

A Flawed Portrait of Boyhood in America

This year has afforded few cinematic touchstones that can compare with Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. In a summer of blockbuster disappointments, Boyhood has been the great success story, a welcome reminder that a movie about kids can be grown up, a...

As a treatise on the essential vacuity of the white liberal male, ‘Boyhood’ is a staggering achievement. As a portrait of childhood in America, it is incomplete.

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Grateful Dead I Have Known

Grateful Dead I Have Known

The terrific novelist Jennifer Egan grew up in San Francisco in the ’70s where she felt that she’d just missed out on the party. “I grew up feeling like I wanted to grow up ten years earlier, and I wanted to reconstruct every sense of what that mo...

The Kentucky bard Ed McClanahan once lived in California, where among various endeavors he played Boswell to the Grateful Dead. Here is his timeless report.

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The Week in Viral Videos

The Week in Viral Videos

5. Amateur StuntmanDeep down, we probably all wish we were lucky enough to be in the movies. Some might want to be the star, others to direct, but it takes a special breed to want to risk life and limb as a stuntman. This Belarusian motorcyclist s...

From a near-fatal motorcycle stunt to an exclusive look at the iPhone 6, WATCH our countdown of this week’s buzziest videos.

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A Flawed Portrait of Boyhood in America

A Flawed Portrait of Boyhood in America

This year has afforded few cinematic touchstones that can compare with Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. In a summer of blockbuster disappointments, Boyhood has been the great success story, a welcome reminder that a movie about kids can be grown up, a...

As a treatise on the essential vacuity of the white liberal male, ‘Boyhood’ is a staggering achievement. As a portrait of childhood in America, it is incomplete.

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World News

Beating Cancer & Dodging Israel's Bombs

Beating Cancer & Dodging Israel's Bombs

TEL AVIV – If hell were a travel destination, Qusay Omran would be its unofficial tour guide. At 19, he’s lived through three wars, a cancer that nearly killed him, and such devastating poverty it would make the South Bronx look like an all-inclus...

Even simple kindness isn’t simple in the Middle East. A Gaza teenager’s cancer is in remission thanks to treatment at a Tel Aviv hospital, but his homeland is dying.

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After Genocide, Rwandan Widows Age Alone

After Genocide, Rwandan Widows Age Alone

SAVE, Rwanda — In the remote hillside village of Save in eucalyptus-covered southern Rwanda, Emmaculate Niwemfite sits on a straw mat near the entry to her two-room apartment. Her door stands ajar, halving the room with a beam of light. She sits i...

In a country with no tradition of institutional care for the elderly, Rwanda’s widows and survivors of the 1994 mass killings seek dignity at the end of their lives.

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Is Democracy Doomed Abroad?

Is Democracy Doomed Abroad?

Are we the only idiots who can get this right?Even though the ordeal in Ferguson has prompted lectures from around the world, that’s the kind of question more of us are apt to ask about democracy. The world is unraveling, and we are watching, and ...

As the world order falls into disarray, the U.S. must confront the fact that no other truly great power shares our values.

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France’s New Whiz-Kid in the Cabinet

France’s New Whiz-Kid in the Cabinet

PARIS — At 36, Emmanuel Macron, France's new Economy Minister, is remarkably young. He got rich on his wits. He is, by all accounts, brilliant; a dashing, urbane go-getter who exudes charm. A sharp intellectual. A prodigy. He is even a prize-...

Thirty-something Emmanuel Macron, who made his personal fortune with Rothschild Group, will now be directing France’s economy. Change is in the air.

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After Genocide, Rwandan Widows Age Alone

After Genocide, Rwandan Widows Age Alone

SAVE, Rwanda — In the remote hillside village of Save in eucalyptus-covered southern Rwanda, Emmaculate Niwemfite sits on a straw mat near the entry to her two-room apartment. Her door stands ajar, halving the room with a beam of light. She sits i...

In a country with no tradition of institutional care for the elderly, Rwanda’s widows and survivors of the 1994 mass killings seek dignity at the end of their lives.

Keep Reading

'YOU' Are ISIS's New Audience

'YOU' Are ISIS's New Audience

The migration from Internet chat forums to social media platforms came late to jihadists, but they’ve adapted skillfully. A strategy developed over years has evolved into a sophisticated campaign and now, at the center of the world’s attention, IS...

The most bloodthirsty terrorist group in memory is also a canny manipulator of social media. It seeks to frighten and inspire.

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ISIS Enablers Could Be Its Weakness, Too

ISIS Enablers Could Be Its Weakness, Too

DOHUK, Iraq — For as long as anyone alive can remember, political loyalty has been imposed in Iraq. Repressive regimes forced the people here to join parties and causes. One day they were Communists, the next Ba’athists, then the KDP, the PUK, the...

The support of local Sunni Muslims has paved the way for the ISIS conquests in Syria and Iraq. They may yet be turned against it, but not by bombs and rockets.

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Brit Kidnapped for ‘Gay Cure’ in Congo

Brit Kidnapped for ‘Gay Cure’ in Congo

Christina Fonthes is out, Congolese, and double-proud. “Yes, I am Congolese; yes, I am gay; and yes, my family know!” the 27-year-old writes on her blog, The Musings of a Congolese Lesbian. But the line that follows may be key to the predicament F...

LGBT activist Christina Fonthes tweeted a cry for help from a family vacation in Kinshasa, claiming her mom was handing her over to a Congolese group that ‘fixes’ homosexuality.

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'YOU' Are ISIS's New Audience

'YOU' Are ISIS's New Audience

The migration from Internet chat forums to social media platforms came late to jihadists, but they’ve adapted skillfully. A strategy developed over years has evolved into a sophisticated campaign and now, at the center of the world’s attention, IS...

The most bloodthirsty terrorist group in memory is also a canny manipulator of social media. It seeks to frighten and inspire.

Keep Reading

U.S. News

Atlanta Was Destroyed to Save the Union

Atlanta Was Destroyed to Save the Union

Many of us have tired of the blizzard of histories marking the sesquicentennial of the first years of the American Civil War. In this, we can sympathize a little with our ancestors 150 years ago—except that they were living through what seemed lik...

Only after the Confederates surrendered Atlanta 150 years ago did Americans know that the Union would be preserved.

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Earthquakes Are Key to Napa's Great Wine

Earthquakes Are Key to Napa's Great Wine

Some time ago, say a few million years ago, several tectonic plates collided. The resulting geological violence created two adjacent valleys in northern California. Things never quite settled down and occasionally the earth still rocks, as it did ...

Violence gave birth to more variations of soil than can be found in all of France. That makes for unparalleled wines, but also for the dangerous temptation to label every variety as ...

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Hoop Dreams for Native American Team

Hoop Dreams for Native American Team

“Don’t open your story with a picture of an abandoned house.” —Chico Her Many HorsesOkay. How about a storm?Driving from the Denver airport to Wyoming, I encountered an almost-otherworldly whiteout of a blizzard. It appeared out of nowhere, save ...

Facing discrimination from whites and social problems of their own, the Wyoming Indian High School Chiefs make their conditions for victory.

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Atlanta Was Destroyed to Save the Union

Atlanta Was Destroyed to Save the Union

Many of us have tired of the blizzard of histories marking the sesquicentennial of the first years of the American Civil War. In this, we can sympathize a little with our ancestors 150 years ago—except that they were living through what seemed lik...

Only after the Confederates surrendered Atlanta 150 years ago did Americans know that the Union would be preserved.

Keep Reading

A Bomber in the Right-Wing Echo Chamber

A Bomber in the Right-Wing Echo Chamber

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Considering that he was being sued, and considering that this court date was the culmination of two and a half years of legal warfare, Aaron Walker seemed to be enjoying himself. The attorney and blogger was the first witness call...

Benghazi, Robin Williams, Islam, Twitter, and a convicted bomber from the 1970s came together in a court case against right-wing bloggers.

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ISIS Coloring Books for the Kiddies

ISIS Coloring Books for the Kiddies

“We are re-releasing our [coloring] books on terrorism,” announced Wayne Bell, founder of the St. Louis-based publisher Really Big Coloring Books, in a video statement this week.“[Our books] tell the truth, they tell it often, and they tell the ch...

A St. Louis coloring book company looks to educate small children about ISIS and other terror groups with graphic images.

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Tech + Health

The Psychology of Sex Slave Rings

The Psychology of Sex Slave Rings

In Britain, malaise is afoot. After news hit that a gang of Pakistani men sexually abused 1,400 girls in one northern town—the fifth such group of Pakistani or Muslim heritage to materialize in just four years—one question lingers: are grooming ri...

The recent discovery of a 1,400-victim sex abuse ring in the UK has rocked the country. That it’s the fifth of its kind—lead by Muslim men—leaves no easy answers.

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Making #Thinsperation a Crime

Making #Thinsperation a Crime

Look for online information about eating disorders, and you’ll be bombarded with material from the National Institutes of Mental Health, advocacy organizations and non-profits, treatment centers, academic researchers, and eating disorder sufferers...

Italy’s Parliament recently proposed a bill that would criminalize pro-anorexia site authors with a $67,000 fine and up to a year in jail. But health experts say this is a bad idea.

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The Novelist Who’s Obsessed With Code

The Novelist Who’s Obsessed With Code

When Vikram Chandra mentioned he was working on a nonfiction book about computer coding at a literary party in San Francisco last fall, I was startled. Chandra is a gifted and original novelist, author most recently of Sacred Games (2006), a spraw...

Acclaimed novelist Vikram Chandra is equally obsessed with the tech world of computer coding and the realm of imagination. He talks about the two realities.

Keep Reading

Silent Shame of HPV

Silent Shame of HPV

When New York City council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito discovered she had high risk human papilloma virus (HPV), she quickly took what is, for many women, the hardest step of the diagnosis: disclosing it. And not just to her sexual partner, but ...

HPV is the most common STD in America, but we still aren’t talking about it. Part of it is the shame associated with the virus, and part of it is the lack of education.

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Making #Thinsperation a Crime

Making #Thinsperation a Crime

Look for online information about eating disorders, and you’ll be bombarded with material from the National Institutes of Mental Health, advocacy organizations and non-profits, treatment centers, academic researchers, and eating disorder sufferers...

Italy’s Parliament recently proposed a bill that would criminalize pro-anorexia site authors with a $67,000 fine and up to a year in jail. But health experts say this is a bad idea.

Keep Reading

Ebola Vaccine Will Do Little for Crisis

Ebola Vaccine Will Do Little for Crisis

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the branch of the NIH that oversees investigations into infections ranging from Ebola to AIDS to Lyme, announced today that the first of a series of vaccine trials aimed at prevent...

The National Institute of Health announced today that human trials of the Ebola vaccine will begin next week. But it won’t be ready in time for the West Africa’s crisis.

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Geek Fandom’s Hairball of Hatred

Geek Fandom’s Hairball of Hatred

A harmless woman is being harassed online by a nerdy subculture. The fact that I can use that sentence in a unique way every day should be another strike against our species. But it appears there’s some ray of hope. It’s small, it’s flickering, bu...

Pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian’s latest video was met with death and rape threats. The men who defended her were accused of “white knighting.” Nobody wins.

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Will the Web Ever Be Safe for Women?

Will the Web Ever Be Safe for Women?

August has been a nightmare for women on the Internet.The editors of the feminist blog Jezebel had to publicly call out their employers at Gawker Media for refusing to permanently ban commenters who spammed the site with animated images of rape an...

August has been a remarkably bad month for women online. Will things ever change?

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Ebola Vaccine Will Do Little for Crisis

Ebola Vaccine Will Do Little for Crisis

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the branch of the NIH that oversees investigations into infections ranging from Ebola to AIDS to Lyme, announced today that the first of a series of vaccine trials aimed at prevent...

The National Institute of Health announced today that human trials of the Ebola vaccine will begin next week. But it won’t be ready in time for the West Africa’s crisis.

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BeastStyle

How Top Designers Survive Fashion Week

How Top Designers Survive Fashion Week

Like athletes, many designers also have a lucky charm that gets them through the chaos of fashion week. They share their talismans, beauty regimines, and secret tips for survival.

Like athletes, many designers also have a lucky charm that gets them through the chaos of fashion week. They share their talismans, beauty regimines, and secret tips for survival.

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Scarlet Is the New Black

Scarlet Is the New Black

It’s official: Red is the color of the season.The fiery hue has been everywhere lately, from the U.S. Open, where Vogue editrix Anna Wintour turned heads in a saucy scarlet shift, to the VMAs and Emmy Awards earlier this week, where Rita Ora (in a...

From Anna Wintour to Rita Ora to Claire Danes, stars are strutting their stuff in red this season. And the "look at me" color of confidence, sex, and attitude is likely her...

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The Never-Ending Falklands War

The Never-Ending Falklands War

“Las Malvinas son nuestras”—The Malvinas are ours.It’s a call from the heart one hears throughout Argentina.But the islands in the South Atlantic are not Argentina’s. The Falkland Islands—as their English name goes—remain a far-flung British terri...

A museum in Buenos Aires has opened, remembering the Falklands War. Unsurprisingly, it is an exercise in political propaganda, with Argentina’s desire to reclaim the British territor...

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Best & Worst Dressed of the Week

Best & Worst Dressed of the Week

One week, two red carpets. Disasters, triumphs, what-the-hell-were-they-thinkings? We saw it all. Relive it here again, including Lena Dunham’s turn as a flamenco dancer.

One week, two red carpets. Disasters, triumphs, what-the-hell-were-they-thinkings? We saw it all. Relive it here again, including Lena Dunham’s turn as a flamenco dancer.

Keep Reading

Scarlet Is the New Black

Scarlet Is the New Black

It’s official: Red is the color of the season.The fiery hue has been everywhere lately, from the U.S. Open, where Vogue editrix Anna Wintour turned heads in a saucy scarlet shift, to the VMAs and Emmy Awards earlier this week, where Rita Ora (in a...

From Anna Wintour to Rita Ora to Claire Danes, stars are strutting their stuff in red this season. And the "look at me" color of confidence, sex, and attitude is likely her...

Keep Reading

OMG, I Want This House

OMG, I Want This House

High in the hills outside of Los Angeles, Hacienda de la Paz is a sprawling estate that is unlike any property around that can be yours...for only $53,000,000.

High in the hills outside of Los Angeles, Hacienda de la Paz is a sprawling estate that is unlike any property around that can be yours...for only $53,000,000.

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Our Doomed Love Affair with Summer

Our Doomed Love Affair with Summer

Summer, you bitch, you’re leaving me again. You lethargic, unfocused, unstable, lazy, hazy, crazy time of year. Why do I always take you back?Because you’re hot. It’s that simple. Hot, and a little kinky. Look at Edouard Manet’s painting of you, L...

PJ O'Rourke bids summer goodbye and good riddance, after fantasies of freedom and sweaty self-improvement die hard under a steady barrage of gin and tonics.

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Cleaning Up From Napa's Winepocalypse

Cleaning Up From Napa's Winepocalypse

After nearly a week of grieving and cleanup, Napa is still reeling from the earthquake that struck the county last Sunday, hitting downtown Napa and its surrounding areas particularly hard. Barrels of wine, weighing 900 pounds each, are still topp...

The repercussions of the Napa earthquake may go beyond toppled barrel rooms and a disrupted tourist season. It may also affect the style and taste of the smaller winemakers' prod...

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OMG, I Want This House

OMG, I Want This House

High in the hills outside of Los Angeles, Hacienda de la Paz is a sprawling estate that is unlike any property around that can be yours...for only $53,000,000.

High in the hills outside of Los Angeles, Hacienda de la Paz is a sprawling estate that is unlike any property around that can be yours...for only $53,000,000.

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Women

When Lightning Strikes

When Lightning Strikes

It took no small amount of hubris to try to capture the life of legendary photographer Dorothea Lange on film. Her audience would not, I imagine, look kindly on any visual imperfection. Fortunately, this challenge was met by Dyanna Taylor, Lange’s granddaughter – an award-winning cinematographer in her own right – who brings her grandmother’s gift of seeing to "Dorothea Lange: Grab A Hunk of Lighting,” premiering at 9 pm tonight on PBS’s American Masters.The...

Best known for her photograph “Migrant Mother,” Dorothea Lange is the subject of the new documentary “Grab A Hunk of Lightning.”

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A Continuing Struggle for Working Moms

A Continuing Struggle for Working Moms

Women’s Equality Day, celebrated this week, commemorates the passage of a woman’s right to vote. Starting with our right to weigh in at the polls, the feminist movement has certainly come far. However, for mothers especially, the movement has not ...

Psychologist and mother Dr. Monique Moore argues that, if women hope to achieve true equality, the time has come to unapologetically call for: extended paid maternity leave, more par...

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AT&T Gives $1 Million to Girls Who Code

AT&T Gives $1 Million to Girls Who Code

On a Thursday in late August, inside a windowless, concrete edifice in downtown Manhattan, twenty high-school girls and their families were gathered at the graduation ceremony for AT&T’s Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, in which they t...

At a small graduation ceremony last week, AT&T made a million-dollar contribution to the nonprofit Girls Who Code. Here's why more tech companies should do the same.

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Beyoncé Is Our Indigo Girl

Beyoncé Is Our Indigo Girl

In a heart-stopping moment during her 16-minute performance at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards, Beyoncé made a bold political statement: Projecting a quote from Nigerian feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie onto a gigantic, glowing screen while...

The R&B diva’s ‘feminist’ proclamation at the VMAs recalls feminism’s all-important ’90s—a decade filled with strong, outspoken female musicians.

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A Continuing Struggle for Working Moms

A Continuing Struggle for Working Moms

Women’s Equality Day, celebrated this week, commemorates the passage of a woman’s right to vote. Starting with our right to weigh in at the polls, the feminist movement has certainly come far. However, for mothers especially, the movement has not ...

Psychologist and mother Dr. Monique Moore argues that, if women hope to achieve true equality, the time has come to unapologetically call for: extended paid maternity leave, more par...

Keep Reading

Serena & the Decline of American Tennis

Serena & the Decline of American Tennis

The parking lots are full, but there’s only a sparse crowd this afternoon in Center Court of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, when the chair umpire of this Cincinnati Open semifinal calls time. Serena Williams, wearing a violet sle...

With no obvious successor in place, 32-year-old Serena Williams, the oldest woman to ever hold the No. 1 world ranking, is one of the lone links to America's past dominance.

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NRA Pissed Off the Wrong Nerd Genius

NRA Pissed Off the Wrong Nerd Genius

Somewhere in a large glass tower in Northern Virginia, there’s a guy who runs guns with a French name having a bad day. With good reason.It was reported Monday that Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and incredibly wealthy guy, and with his wife, Me...

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg already had the gun lobby in his sights. Now Bill Gates is donating $1 million for universal background checks—and there’s more where that came from.

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An Equal Rights Amendment for Our Time

An Equal Rights Amendment for Our Time

The historic Emmy nomination of transgender actor Laverne Cox has spurred growing talk of a “transgender tipping point” in the United States, reflecting soaring popular support for those who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth...

Since the United States is hitting a "transgender tipping point," the existing Equal Rights Amendment must expand its protections to include gender--with two simple words.

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Serena & the Decline of American Tennis

Serena & the Decline of American Tennis

The parking lots are full, but there’s only a sparse crowd this afternoon in Center Court of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, when the chair umpire of this Cincinnati Open semifinal calls time. Serena Williams, wearing a violet sle...

With no obvious successor in place, 32-year-old Serena Williams, the oldest woman to ever hold the No. 1 world ranking, is one of the lone links to America's past dominance.

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Books

A Teacher Returns and Gets Schooled

A Teacher Returns and Gets Schooled

Like many older people, the sheriff in Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men thinks America is going to hell. Reflecting on the results of a survey of school teachers from the 1930s, he says: “The biggest problems they could name was things lik...

After 14 years away from education, Garret Keizer returns to find a new generation that doesn’t care about books or even television—and the education bureaucracy wants to assign a nu...

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  • Atlanta Was Destroyed to Save the Union

    Atlanta Was Destroyed to Save the Union

    Many of us have tired of the blizzard of histories marking the sesquicentennial of the first years of the American Civil War. In this, we can sympathize a little with our ancestors 150 years ago—except that they were living through what seemed lik...

    Only after the Confederates surrendered Atlanta 150 years ago did Americans know that the Union would be preserved.

    Keep Reading

The Week’s Best Longreads

The Week’s Best Longreads

Friends of Israel By Connie Bruck, New Yorker The lobbying group AIPAC has consistently fought the Obama Administration on policy. Is it now losing influence?ISIS Isn’t the Real Enemy. The “Game of Thrones” Medieval Mindset That Birthed It Is....

From Israel losing friends and alienating people to shady land deals on the Mosquito Coast, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

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Zen, Motorcycles, and the Cult of Tech

Zen, Motorcycles, and the Cult of Tech

Zeitgeist novels tend to fall in one of three categories, none of which have anything to do with the quality of the work itself. In the first category are books nostalgic for a simpler, romanticized past; James A. Michener’s Centennial, the best-s...

Robert Pirsig's 1974 oddball classic ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ reflects the malaise of its era and prefigures our own technophiliac age.

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Beast Fiction: Your Worst Day in Iraq

Beast Fiction: Your Worst Day in Iraq

AgincourtThis will be the worst day of your life. In years to come you will recount the most intricate details to yourself with obsessive precision, as if tracing the wood grain of a childhood bunk bed from memory. It is not a healthy kind of reme...

A short story from an army veteran about the last time U.S. soldiers were in Iraq and the impossible choices they faced there.

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The Week’s Best Longreads

The Week’s Best Longreads

Friends of Israel By Connie Bruck, New Yorker The lobbying group AIPAC has consistently fought the Obama Administration on policy. Is it now losing influence?ISIS Isn’t the Real Enemy. The “Game of Thrones” Medieval Mindset That Birthed It Is....

From Israel losing friends and alienating people to shady land deals on the Mosquito Coast, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

Keep Reading

Grateful Dead I Have Known

Grateful Dead I Have Known

The terrific novelist Jennifer Egan grew up in San Francisco in the ’70s where she felt that she’d just missed out on the party. “I grew up feeling like I wanted to grow up ten years earlier, and I wanted to reconstruct every sense of what that mo...

The Kentucky bard Ed McClanahan once lived in California, where among various endeavors he played Boswell to the Grateful Dead. Here is his timeless report.

Keep Reading

College: Classy Trade School or More?

College: Classy Trade School or More?

There is a tradition in this country stretching back to Thomas Jefferson of lofty ideals for our colleges and universities. Liberal learning is said to prepare one for autonomy and for citizenship. As Ralph Waldo Emerson emphasized, it also led on...

Booker T. Washington promoted a utilitarian approach to education, while W.E.B. Du Bois argued for a broader, more liberal curriculum. The debate resonates to this day.

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The Novelist Who’s Obsessed With Code

The Novelist Who’s Obsessed With Code

When Vikram Chandra mentioned he was working on a nonfiction book about computer coding at a literary party in San Francisco last fall, I was startled. Chandra is a gifted and original novelist, author most recently of Sacred Games (2006), a spraw...

Acclaimed novelist Vikram Chandra is equally obsessed with the tech world of computer coding and the realm of imagination. He talks about the two realities.

Keep Reading

Grateful Dead I Have Known

Grateful Dead I Have Known

The terrific novelist Jennifer Egan grew up in San Francisco in the ’70s where she felt that she’d just missed out on the party. “I grew up feeling like I wanted to grow up ten years earlier, and I wanted to reconstruct every sense of what that mo...

The Kentucky bard Ed McClanahan once lived in California, where among various endeavors he played Boswell to the Grateful Dead. Here is his timeless report.

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