Census and the CityPOSTED: May 25, 2011 03:33 PM
By Sarah Courteau
Grazie Mille!POSTED: May 20, 2011 03:03 PM
By The Editors
We are thrilled to announce that The Wilson Quarterly has won the 2011 Utne Independent Press Award for international coverage. The most meaningful recognition is the kind given by one's peers, and to receive this honor from the folks at Utne Reader, who deserve to receive an award of their own, is hard to beat. We were honored to be in the company of several excellent nominees: NACLA Report on the Americas, New Internationalist, New Statesman, Prospect, Red Pepper, World Affairs, and Z Magazine.READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY >>
Lessons From a LatinistPOSTED: May 20, 2011 03:03 PM
By James Carman
Daniel Walker Howe laments the long decline of the teaching of classics at the college level in his essay in our spring issue, but classical education in American middle and high schools, particularly the teaching of Latin, has experienced a mild resurgence in recent years. According to the New York Times, the number of students taking the Advanced Placement test in Latin doubled between 1996 and 2007, to 8,654 nationwide.
The Scourge of WarPOSTED: May 19, 2011 03:59 PM
By Megan Buskey
On Monday night, a couple of us went to the Kennedy Center to hear the annual Jefferson Lecture, a spring tradition in Washington, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. This year’s speaker was Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard University and a Civil War historian with six books to her credit, including This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (2008), a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. With the sesquicentennial of the attack on Fort Sumter just a month ago, Faust was a natural choice to give the prestigious speech. (And all the more suitable for us WQers, who are preparing the Summer issue’s Current Books section, which is entirely devoted to the Civil War.)
A Guide to the City of DreamsPOSTED: May 06, 2011 04:56 PM
By Charles King
Author Charles King provides a virtual tour of the subject of his latest book, the Black Sea port town of Odessa.
In my new book, Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams, I show how a city that was home to one of the largest and most famous Jewish communities in Europe ended up destroying itself during World War II. (Read Timothy Snyder's Odessa review for the WQ here.) It’s a story that, until now, has been largely buried in dusty government archives half a world away. But it is a story that lives on in Odessa’s worldwide diaspora of Jews, Russians, and Ukrainians and such places as the “Little Odessa” of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Here are a few images that hint at Odessa’s complicated history.
What We’re ReadingPOSTED: May 06, 2011 04:56 PM
James Carman, Managing Editor: I’m reading two books at the moment. The first, Douglas Hofstadter’s I Am a Strange Loop, is essentially a sequel to Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, published in 1979. The book—like Gödel, which won the Pulitzer Prize—takes a stab at “saying what a self, a soul, an inner light, a first-person viewpoint, interiority, intentionality, and consciousness are.” I’ve read other people on this subject—Denis Dutton and John Searle among them—but Hofstadter has a knack for distilling the hard-to-express into pithy sentences. “In a nutshell,” he writes, “our quandary is this. Either we believe that our consciousness is something other than an outcome of physical law, or we believe it is an outcome of physical law—but making either choice leads us to disturbing, perhaps even unacceptable consequences.”
Infinite PressPOSTED: May 06, 2011 04:55 PM
By Megan Buskey
In our spring issue, we published an In Essence item on the growing amount of academic scholarship on the work of David Foster Wallace, the lauded American novelist behind Infinite Jest (1996) who hanged himself in 2008. Since we finished that issue, the number of pieces on Wallace has multiplied prodigiously. That’s no surprise, as Wallace’s highly-anticipated posthumous novel, The Pale King, had a publication date of April 15. Where is the budding Wallace fan to start? Here are a few pieces I particularly enjoy on Wallace’s complex life and career:
* Critic Jon Baskin published an elegant account of Wallace’s place in the literary pantheon in The Point.
* Writer John Jeremiah Sullivan’s piece on The Pale King in GQ is sad, funny, and tremendously insightful—one of the best essays on literature I’ve read in recent memory.
* Bookworm host Michael Silverblatt had Wallace on his radio show a number of times over the years. Silverblatt is a famously attentive reader and a probing but kind interviewer—the conversations between the pair made me want to read everything Wallace ever wrote.
* Maria Bustillos visited the newly-opened Wallace archive at the Henry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin, and produced a fascinating report on a private Wallace pastime: reading (and scribbling comments throughout) self-help books. (If the archive sounds familiar,... READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY >>
The City ResilientPOSTED: May 06, 2011 04:54 PM
By Steven Lagerfeld
The Life’s Work and Early Death of Manning MarablePOSTED: May 06, 2011 04:54 PM
By Sarah Courteau
When Manning Marable died at the age of 60 on April 1, he was three days shy of seeing his biography of Malcolm X published. The book portrays the slain civil rights figure as a flawed but admirable leader. Marable had long battled lung disease, and had undergone a double lung transplant last year.
Marable—a professor of African-American studies, history, political science, and public affairs at Columbia University—was the author of nearly 20 books and more than 275 scholarly articles, but he considered Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention his life’s work. The book was the result of two decades of exhaustive research that led Marable to plumb archives, government documents, and other sources to present as full a picture as he could of his subject. Marable sought, in part, to correct... READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY >>
WQ editors share their winter weather reads.
If football is harmful to players, is it ethical to be a fan?
Germans know how to enjoy themselves during the holidays, but don’t invade their Internet privacy.
Two new books illuminate politics high and low—the role of high principle and the urgency of land grabs around the world.
College football success upends boys’ grades, but girls may actually benefit.
One photographer's journey to trace his family roots yielded an image for our fall issue.
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