Summer 2008


The Disadvantages of an Elite Education

Our best universities have forgotten that the reason they exist is to make minds, not careers

by William Deresiewicz

The End of the Black American Narrative

A new century calls for new stories grounded in the present, leaving behind the painful history of slavery and its consequences

by Charles Johnson


Revisiting the gritty Roman neighborhood of his youth, a writer discovers a world of his own invention

by André Aciman


Knitting a new life in America after a mother’s suicide, long ago in Japan

by Kyoko Mori

Her Own Society

When Emily Dickinson and her radical friend Thomas Wentworth Higginson met for the first time

by Brenda Wineapple

The Bout

When George Plimpton, the boyish editor of The Paris Review, went three rounds with the light-heavyweight champion of the world

by Blair Fuller


In literature, as in life, the art of swimming isn’t hard to master

by Willard Spiegelman



Confluences of Sound and Sense

Langdon Hammer

Six Poems

Kay Ryan

After Callimachus

John Talbot

Point of Departure

The Art of Surprise

Steve Vineberg

Commonplace Book


Anne Matthews

Book Essay

The Grasshopper and His Space Odyssey

A scientist remembers the celebrated science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke

Jeremy Bernstein

Book Reviews

Over There

A pugnacious public intellectual looks to Europe for his ideal

Jean Bethke Elshtain

Democracy in Three Dimensions?

How the nation’s capital rose from a fetid forest on the backs of slaves

Heather Ewing
Ireland Revised

Ireland Revised

Where the Celtic Tiger came from, and where it has gone

George O’Brien

Repatriating Art

A museum director examines the controversy over whether nations own their cultural artifacts

Susannah Rutherglen

A Look Beyond the Tragic Mystique

Matthew Ladd