Cover Story

The Decline of the English Department

How it happened and what could be done to reverse it

by William M. Chace


The Doctor Is IN

At 88, Aaron Beck is now revered for an approach to psychotherapy that pushed Freudian analysis aside

by Daniel B. Smith

Notes from the Earth

Running Yangtze rapids, following Afghan herdsmen, four-wheeling Australia’s Jack Hills—intimate contacts with natural landscapes

by Barry Lopez

A Mindful Beauty

What poetry and applied mathematics have in common

by Joel E. Cohen

Armchair Travelers

The Renaissance writers and humanists Petrarch and Boccaccio turned to geography to understand the works of antiquity

by Toby Lester

Mother Country

A daughter examines a life played out in romantic defiance of bad fortune

by Evelyn Toynton


Editor's Note

The End of Things

Robert Wilson


Response to Our Summer Issue

Our readers

Letter From …

Letter from Morocco: The Living and the Dead

Eric Calderwood

Tuning Up

Brush Up Your Berlin

David Lehman

Commonplace Book


Anne Matthews



Ralph Lombreglia

Ground Rule

Patricia Volk


Openings into an Open Mind

Langdon Hammer

Six Poems

Maureen N. McLane


Facing the Music

What 1930s pop culture can teach us about our own hard times

Morris Dickstein

Book Essay

Living on $500,000 a Year

What F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tax returns reveal about his life and times

William J. Quirk

Book Reviews

A Day in the Life

Reading Joyce’s Ulysses as a guide to urban living

Sudip Bose

Art in the Time of War

A prescient and courageous few safeguarded Italy’s patrimony

Susannah Rutherglen

The Common Good

The case for a standardized curriculum for all American children

Richard D. Kahlenberg

Film Release

A woman’s burdened life and transcendent photographs

Shirley Streshinsky

Relativity and All That

Big Science bears down on Einstein’s equation

Apurva Narechania

Watchers of the Skies

Heroes of British science, and the Romantic poets they inspired

Robert Wilson