Arts & Entertainment

New York Review of Books: Supreme Cynics

Liza Batkin
Ruling by Fear

The Supreme Court’s conservative justices paint a dark portrait of society, danger lurking in every shadow, to justify overturning a New York gun control law.

Nawal Arjini
Democracy in Concrete

An exhibition of postcolonial architecture in South Asia looks back with nostalgia at modernism’s democratic promise.

Jarrett Earnest
A Proliferation of Beauties

The critic Dave Hickey almost single-handedly remade the practice of writing about art in the 1980s and 1990s, even as he provoked outrage in the institutional art world.

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

The Supreme Court’s 1986 decision upholding prohibitions of homosexual sex, Bowers v. Hardwick, “and the questionable historical assumptions which underlay it, have inspired a great deal of mordant criticism by those who know that past attitudes to homosexual behavior were much more complicated than the majority in the Supreme Court implied,” wrote Keith Thomas in the Review’s September 22, 1994, issue. Indeed, as Thomas proceeded to demonstrate, Renaissance literature and art abounds with homoeroticism and “homosociality.” And not just the Renaissance: “The Justices of the Supreme Court who heard the case of Bowers v. Hardwick might have been surprised to learn that not even the legendary makers of New England were exempt from these intense homosocial bonds.”

Keith Thomas
As You Like It

“The attraction of Renaissance literature is that it shows just how protean and elusive our supposed certainties about human sexuality can be.”

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