Tag: Public Sphere

Beyond the Bubble

This essay was originally published in The Caravan.   In 2002, a year after Amartya Sen’s well-known essay on hunger, “Old Torments and New Blunders,” was first published, I travelled through ...

Turkey’s Progressive Past

In her posthumously published memoir, written in the late 1960s, the journalist Sabiha Sertel reflected on her life in exile from Turkey, her home country. She had lived through a period of ...

Soft Atheism

It’s not easy being new. It doesn’t last long. Sometimes it isn’t even an apt characterization in the first place. Take “New Atheism,” the label applied to a body of writings by such figures as ...

The Correctionists

One of the most widespread diseases is diagnosis. —Karl Kraus For an American audience, the first reaction to the publication of Jonathan Franzen’s The Kraus Project is presumably: who is Karl Kraus ...

Michael Nyman At 70

When asked to name a “minimalist” composer, most would say Philip Glass. Steve Reich, John Adams, and Terry Riley resonate with those a bit more familiar with classical music. Yet few know that it ...

Ordinary Lives

“Nobody’s listening!” (“Le pays, en un mot, ne se sent pas représenté,” or literally, “The country, in a word, feels that it is not listened to.”) Pierre Rosanvallon, a professor of history at the ...

Stop Defending the Humanities

Whatever things the humanities do well, it is beginning to look as if promoting themselves is not among them. I say this after having read widely across the rapidly accumulating literature in defense ...

Storybook Plutocracy

George Packer’s The Unwinding is a minor masterpiece of the social-disintegration genre—a beautifully written, clinically observed story of the slow-rolling economic transformation that has, over the ...