Cover Story

Affirmative Inaction

Opposition to affirmative action has drastically reduced minority enrollment at public universities; private institutions have the power and the responsibility to reverse the trend

by William M. Chace

Articles

Unauthorized, But Not Untrue

The real story of a biographer in a celebrity culture of public denials, media timidity, and legal threats

by Kitty Kelley

Empathy and Other Mysteries

Neuroscientists are discovering things about the brain that answer questions philosophers have been asking for centuries

by Richard Restak

To Accept What Cannot Be Helped

At 80, a woman with a fatal disease knows she doesn't want to die in the hospital and discovers, with her family, what that really means

by Ann Hulbert

The Seduction

After years of favoring the endurance-test approach to teaching literature, a professor focuses on how to make books spark to life for her students

by Paula Marantz Cohen

The Passionate Encounter

A noted midcentury critic has much to say in his journal about his fellow writers and the literary world they shared

by Alfred Kazin

Reassessing Rossellini

Restoration of Rome Open city, the director’s masterpiece, prompts a look at why he later retreated from the neorealism it introduced

by Joseph Luzzi

Departments

Editor's Note

Beyond the Genteel

Robert Wilson

Letters

Response to Our Autumn Issue

Our readers

Letter From …

Vietnam: ‘Good Memories, Bad War’

Christopher Davenport

Tuning Up

The Word Made Flesh

Colum McCann

Commonplace Book

Forgiveness

Anne Matthews

Fiction

Out of Order

Mark Polanzak

Adonis

Jerome Charyn

Poetry

Expatriate’s Lament

Langdon Hammer

Rereading Oliver Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village” in a Changed Ireland

Eavan Boland

From The Book of Knowledge

Cynthia Zarin

Works in Progress

Thinking Outside the Vase

Emily Ochoa

The Future of the Book

André Schiffrin

If Music Be the Food of Love, Rock On

Will Yandik

Fabulous Pilobolus

Lindsey Oechsle

Rosie the Helpless Little Thing?

Jennifer Henderson

Out of Africa

Elyse Graham

Point of Departure

Why I Don’t Give Tips on How to Write

William Zinsser

Arts

Book Essay

The Faux Arts

Variations on a theme of deception

Edwin M. Yoder Jr.

Book Reviews

Tangled Up in Dylan

The enduring appeal of a legendary American songwriter

Louis P. Masur

Ode to Joy

What makes us happy?

Priscilla Long

Girl Power

The enigma who ruled her world

Gelareh Asayesh

Tour de Horse

A masterly retelling of a death on the Plains

Andrew Graybill

Man of Letters

A novelist finds his classic voice

Jeremy Berlin

City Ways

Urban visions past and future

John King

Big Muddy

The river before Mark Twain

Bruce Falconer