Cover Story

The Examined Lie

A meditation on memory

by James McWilliams


Talk of the Town

At the Concord Lyceum, Emerson tried out his lectures on his neighbors

by Robert A. Gross

Matters of Taste

A work of literature and a bottle of wine require similar skills of their respective critics

by Paul Lukacs

The Wandering Years

The travel journals of a literary icon making his way in the world

by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

My Mother’s Yiddish

The music of my childhood was a language filled with endearments and rebukes, and frequent misunderstandings

by Phyllis Rose

Net Gains

Nabokov's profitable summer chasing butterflies and settling scores in the Utah mountains

by Robert Roper

Saigon Summer

A spy’s daughter remembers the haunting unreality of embassy life in South Vietnam before the fall

by Sarah Mansfield Taber


Editor's Note


Robert Wilson

Letter From …

Letter from Myanmar: A Glimmer of Hope

Ingrid McDonald

Commonplace Book

Summer 2015

Anne Matthews


N Judah

Robert Cohen

A Diptych Translated from Scratch

Mark Budman


The Foundling Tokens

Robert Pinsky

Three Données

Ange Mlinko

Back Talk

Coming Up Trumps

Ralph Keyes


Southern Exposure

Inspired by the structures and landscapes of rural Alabama, photographer William Christenberry has spun a narrative that is long, rich, and universal

Andy Grundberg

Cold Truths

The Iceman Cometh and the destructiveness of dreams

Wendy Smith

Strong but Quiet

The achievement of Andrea del Sarto

Ingrid D. Rowland

Book Essay

Book Reviews

It Takes a Laboratory

Science is no longer the domain of solitary experimenters

Sam Kean

Boldly Going No More

The space shuttle program’s unheralded demise

Nathalie Lagerfeld


A spy’s exploits in the heart of the Confederacy

S. C. Gwynne

Big Shoulders

How curiosity and cognition have driven our species forward

Louise Fabiani

The Paper Chase

Years of tireless collecting led to one of the world’s great libraries

Werner Gundersheimer

Fantastic Four

The enduring influence of a quartet of Oxford dons

Jan Morris