Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Trump Racketeers

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Fintan O’Toole
A Frame-Up in Georgia

By launching a campaign of lies and harassment against an innocent Georgia poll worker, the Trump team proved how much cruelty it was willing to inflict on ordinary people who stood in its way.

Eric Naiman
Webs of Style

Vladimir Nabokov’s correspondence with Katharine and E. B. White bristles with mutual frustration, but the New Yorker couple may have had a surprising influence on his fiction.

A. S. Hamrah
Persistence of Mission

More than ever, Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible movies are about a film industry in crisis.

James Gleick
Nothing to See Here

For centuries the study of optics and the use of invisibility in science fiction have developed side by side, each inspiring the other.

Free from the Archives

Today would have been Jiang Zemin’s ninety-seventh birthday. In 1989 Jiang, who died last November, was the mayor of Shanghai until he became the unlikely successor—a compromise candidate after the Tiananmen Square Massacre—to Zhao Ziyang as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. He ended up leading China for the next fourteen years. As Orville Schell wrote in the Review’s September 23, 1999, issue, Jiang’s careful opportunism (“Mr. Comrade Nice Guy,” as Schell has it) helped keep him in power for the tumultuous decade that saw the return of Hong Kong and Macau to China, a series of reforms that eased the nation into a hybrid “Communist capitalism,” and a visit by Bill Clinton to Tiananmen Square.

Orville Schell
The Jiang Zemin Mystery

“I wondered whether a more sophisticated China was actually emerging from the wreckage of Mao’s revolution in the person of Jiang, who seemed to be studiously trying to re-invent himself as a more cosmopolitan leader, one less constrained by Party dogma and protocol, and more at ease with the West.”

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