Economics/Class Relations

New York Review of Books: What Austerity Has Done to Detroit

Scott W. Stern
Dire Straits

Toxic Debt, Josiah Rector’s history of Detroit’s struggles for clean air and water, argues that municipal debt and austerity have furthered an ongoing environmental catastrophe.

Keith Thomas
A ‘Puritan Jihadi’

Oliver Cromwell’s cruelty and fervent, born-again religiosity were extreme, even by the standards of the age.

Laura Kolbe
Where Does It Hurt?

Three new books attempt to locate the origin of pain and its vocabulary.

James Mann
The Birchers & the Trumpers

A new biography of Robert Welch traces the origins and history of the conspiracy-obsessed anti-Communist John Birch Society and, in the process, provides historical perspective on the far-right populism of the Trump era.

Early Alzheimer’s

a poem
Richard Sieburth

A shelf of memory calving into the sea
like an Antarctic glacier on TV

Duncan Hosie and Reva Siegel
The Remaking of the Second Amendment

The Supreme Court’s expanding interpretation of the Second Amendment threatens longstanding democratic authority to enact gun safety measures.

Free from the Archives

This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the American publication of William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch. (It was first published in Paris, in 1959, after it had been banned by the US Postal Service.) In the Review’s first issue, on February 1, 1963, Mary McCarthy reviewed it, finding a book that reads “as though Finnegans Wake were cut loose from history and adapted for a cinerama circus titled ‘One World.’”

Mary McCarthy
Dejeuner sur l’Herbe

“The best comparison for the book, with its aerial sex acts performed on a high trapeze, its con men and barkers, its arena-like form, is in fact a circus. A circus travels but it is always the same, and this is Burroughs’ sardonic image of modern life.”


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