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The Conflicted Soul of Modern Liberalism

Warren Breckman The New Republic
Tracing the history of an idea, the author charts liberalism’s two century Jekyll and Hyde existence as a credo on freedom and an ill-fitting defender of mass democracy.

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The Soaring Writer Who Landed on His Feet

Michael Hirsch New Politics
A crime novel with a difference, this one centers on murders in a vacation town that appear to take on racial significance going back to World War Two and a segregated, elite military command.

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Remembering Philip Roth (1933-2018)

Nathaniel Rich The New York Review of Books
An homage to the esteemed late novelist and nonfiction writer Philip Roth, who died on May 22, leaving a legacy of thick description of an American culture where, in Roth's ironic words, “everything goes and nothing matters."

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Anthony Bourdain Was the Best White Man

Malika Rao Vulture
Bourdain engaged without fetishizing, touristed with ease, in the way of a person who’s been toggling between identities so long, the act of meeting a stranger from a strange land is the only familiar feeling.

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Comic Art in the Academy

Paul Buhle New Politics
Once the provenance of teens, counterculturalists or authors who were fans, comics are now entrenched in academic discourse in what the essayist calls, "the theorizing of a kind of artistic poetics." The book under review ably looks at nonfiction comics as apt reflections on modern social ills.

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The Company She Kept

Michelle Dean The New Republic
A survey of the life, work and associations of the late New York Review of Books editor Elizabeth Hardwick, the transplanted Southerner who became a writer of note among the literary and political circles comprising the New York Intellectuals of the pre- and postwar period, she had a knack for illustrating what might have been called feminist themes by way of specific details of specific lives.
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