Private prison companies treat immigrant detainees like convicted criminals—and reap huge profits from the people they hold
John Adams’s famous defense of the British may not be, as we’ve always understood it, the ultimate
expression of principle and the rule of law
Two small towns in northeast Iowa are caught up in the national struggle over immigration
In a rural hospital, a patient passes the night without knowing how lucky he is to have avoided death
My father was training to fight a war, but his real battle was with himself
How American war surplus helped build the world’s most successful merchant marine
Aging has its rewards until it doesn’t. I am ready to contemplate the end but not, yet, to give in to it
W. S. Merwin, one of the most celebrated and prolific poets of his generation, died last Friday at the age of 91. A former U.S. poet laureate and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, Merwin was also known for his work as a conservationist. After moving to Hawaii in the 1970s, he began the decades-long project of restoring different plant species to the former pineapple plantation where he lived. Merwin was notoriously difficult to contact, but in the fall of last year, John Kaag managed to interview him over the phone. Merwin, he reports, repeated the same lines throughout their conversation: “The time of wisdom cannot be measured, and, for me, wisdom is the garden. There is no time in the garden.” In an essay for the Scholar, Kaag explores this relationship between gardening and the passage of time, and how it is reflected in Merwin’s life and poetry.
Shouldn’t literature enchant, surprise, and teach us? And to make this happen, shouldn’t we be the most expert readers we can be?
A new look at the island empire’s prize possession
A scholar of early Christianity on how her work informed her life
A Soviet émigré’s never-ending battle to be understood
Can age-old philosophy lead the way to happiness?
A German-born composer and his English oratorios
Known for rendering others, a writer turns his attention inward