History and Historiography

Democracy à la de Tocqueville

New York Review of Books

Lynn Hunt
‘A Great Democratic Revolution’

Alexis de Tocqueville left France to study the American prison system and returned with the material that would become “Democracy in America.”

David Salle
Who Am I? What Am I?

Charles Ray’s ambitious, technologically sophisticated sculptures allow viewers to enjoy figurative realism without the taint of kitsch.

Audrey Wollen
The Circuitous Sublime

Like most hauntings, Fleur Jaeggy’s books are often quite baroque, but they cast a strange spell that causes everyone to remember them as nothing but austere.

Christopher Benfey
Later Disregard

I just turned sixty-eight.

Tim Judah
In Kherson

The retreat of Russian troops from Kherson, leaving the city without power, water, or cell service, closed a long chapter in the war in Ukraine.

Free from the Archives

Friday was Margaret Atwood’s eighty-third birthday. Atwood has often appeared in the pages of the Review, as both contributor and subject. In the former capacity, she has written fifteen essays, on topics ranging from Ursula K. Le Guin to Twitter to Studs Turkel; while her novels and short stories—and their film and television adaptations—have been reviewed by, among others, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Towers, Francine Prose, and, for the magazine’s December 19, 1996, issue, Hilary Mantel.

Reading Atwood’s 1996 novel Alias Grace—a carefully researched fictionalization of a sensational murder in nineteenth-century Toronto—Mantel discovered “a story of murder and memory, a chilling horror story, almost a story of possession; it is also a novel of ideas, where intellect and passion are finely hand-stitched, revealing their ultimate effect only when some 500 pages are shaken out and the dazzling design shows, in all the glory of its pattern, texture, and color.”

Hilary Mantel
Murder and Memory

“Margaret Atwood has always written her characters from the inside out. She knows them: in their hearts, their bones. For many years now she has been a stylist of sensuous power.”


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