Books & Culture

President Barack Obama standing behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office while speaking on a corded telephone. He has his hand held up to his face while he leans on the back of a desk chair.
Annals of the Presidency

A President Looks Back on His Toughest Fight

The story behind the Obama Administration’s most enduring—and most contested—legacy: reforming American health care.

The Latest

The Unsettling Anti-Entertainment of “A World of Calm”

Flamingos flying over water

The HBO Max series doesn’t just service a viewer’s mood but seeks to induce a new state of mind—namely, a deep state of relaxation, or even a good, long nap.

October 27, 2020

What Foreign Journalists See in the U.S. Election

GIF of President Donald Trump at a press briefing

In “The America Bureau,” reporters remark on the chaotic American Presidential campaign, and what it means for the rest of the world.

October 26, 2020

Richard McGuire’s “American Tumult”

Image may contain: Symbol, Flag, and Text

The artist discusses poster art and the news, and his cover for the November 2, 2020, issue of the magazine.

October 26, 2020

What Should Crisis Leadership Look Like?

A swarming crowd of people walk through darkness.

The animal kingdom offers unexpected guidance for how we might respond to the pandemic.

October 26, 2020

Curtis Sittenfeld on Politics and Ambiguity

Curtis Sittenfeld posing with arms clasped in front against a black backdrop

The author discusses “A for Alone,” her story from this week’s issue of the magazine.

October 26, 2020
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The Critics

Misremembering the British Empire

British imperialism

How did the British become so blinkered about their nation’s imperial history?

Grouptherapy Embodies a New Model of Cultural Versatility

A polaroid of members of Grouptherapy from a low angle

Formed as a reaction to the commercialization of creative energy, the collective project is refreshingly effortful.

The Mischievous Irreverence of “The Good Lord Bird”

Image may contain: Human, Person, Art, and Keith Szarabajka

Showtime’s miniseries about the militant abolitionist John Brown has no time for hagiography.

Experiments in Audio Theatre, Radical and Retro

A Thousand Ways

“A Thousand Ways” and “Shipwreck” suggest a vast realm of possibility available to playwrights making new work in the COVID era.

Goings On About Town

Virginia Woolf’s Ghost at the Met’s Costume Institute

A neutral, lacy dress displayed on a floating white mannequin against a light blue wall while a person arranges scraps of lace on the floor

The British writer is the “ghost narrator” of the new exhibition “About Time: Fashion and Duration,” featuring similar garments made decades apart.

Pandemic Essentials of All Kinds, at Hunky Dory

A documentary style photo of the torsos of two people while they eat a meal out of takeout containers

The Crown Heights?bar and restaurant, which offers bottled cocktails to go and seasonal dishes like a duck-and-apple sandwich, hosts?everything from clambakes to movie nights to?political?postcard drives.

A “Hamilton” Star’s Left-of-Center Noise-Rap Album

Daveed Diggs holds paper cutouts.

On Clipping’s “Visions of Bodies Being Burned,” the rapper and actor Daveed Diggs, together with Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson, uses the tropes of horror to express radical politics.

Photo Booth

Mandel next to person at a deli counter of a grocery store.
Photo Booth

Mike Mandel’s Selfies from the Seventies

Curiosity is the animating force of the photographs. You start to sense that Mandel sees everyone—the stranger and the self—as members of the same team.

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Driving Through the Pandemic, and the Future of Trumpism

A crosstown MTA bus driving in NYC during sunset

A New York bus operator on working under the threat of the virus, and Nicholas Lemann on the Republican Party after Trump.

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