A behind-the-scenes look at what Public Books editors and staff have been reading this month.
“We Want More Housing, But How?” Talking with Max Holleran
“There are a lot of basic things that America has still not accepted in terms of how to live a happy urban life.”
Chains of Domination, Chains of Solidarity: Benjamin L. McKean on Justice, Solidarity, Supply Chains
“For good or ill, freedom and solidarity and social justice are not things we can get quickly.”
Alejandro Varela on “The Town of Babylon” and “The People Who Report More Stress”
Writing Latinos, from Public Books, features interviews with Latino (a/x/e) authors discussing their books and how their writing contributes to the ever-changing conversation about the meanings of ...
What the 1990s Did to America
The 1990s are usually seen as a moment of tranquility. Cold War won, business booming, history at an end. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When Journalists Lose Public Support, Violence Abounds
2022 was the deadliest year on record for Mexican journalists. And this, in turn, portends dark days for journalists the world over.
Nonprofit Neighborhoods: How Not to Fight Poverty
Wishing to end poverty “wherever it existed,” LBJ acted not with government aid, but with a non-profit. The results have been catastrophic.
A Novel the CIA Spent a Fortune to Suppress
Mr. President shows widespread corruption around a fictional Guatemalan dictator. This did not please the country’s real dictators.
Armenia: Another Century, Another Genocide?
From the start of Armenia’s independence in 1991, Turkey took a hostile position toward its erstwhile victim of genocide. That hostility remains.
Armenia and Azerbaijan: That Other War
The radical simplifications that flow from nationalism shrink the possibilities to understand the other.
Morrison and Davis: Radicalizing Autobiography
Don’t question Angela Davis’ manuscript, Toni Morrison warned her publishing colleagues. Davis was not “Jane Fonda” but, rather, “Jean d’Arc.”
Homeland Security Theater
These new DHS-funded graphic novels want to train citizens to be critical readers of all kinds of information, except their own propaganda.
Small Nations, Big Feelings
In the 1930s, Americans fell in love with Czechoslovakia and Spain; today, it’s Ukraine. What happens when one finds a “second mother country”?
How to Undocument a Narrative
For decades, undocumented Americans have been asked to tell their stories, in the hopes that this would galvanize political change. Did it work?
“Content” Erases Wall Between Fact & Fiction
“We’ve never had a period like this in modern American history,” lamented Governor DeSantis in April 2020, one with “such little new content.”
Public Thinker: Lara Putnam Wants You to Knock on Your Neighbor’s Door
“Campaigns matter in part because of who meets whom, about the social networks that are shaped by that campaign as well as shaping it.”
B-Sides: J. G. Farrell’s “Troubles”
His characters—in 1919 Ireland, 1857 India, and 1940 Singapore—intuit that the world is about to collapse. But they can do nothing to save it.
Marshall Sahlins’s “Original Affluent Society” 50 Years Later
Capitalism seeks wealth to meet desires. But foraging societies follow “the Zen road to affluence”: not by getting more, but wanting less.
Xenophobia Powers the United States
Since 1892, the United States has deported more immigrants (over 57 million) than any other nation.
Succeeding through Failure: Andrew Lakoff on Preparing for Emergencies
“What is the range of available measures to address our catastrophic future?”