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In the Act of Living

Hermione Lee, in her new biography of Tom Stoppard, has given shape to his quest for meaning, consciousness, history, and goodness.

Tom Stoppard: A Life

by Hermione Lee


‘What the Hell Can I Call Myself Except British?’

Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series presents Black Britons not as objects but as protagonists, not as heroes but as humans.

Small Axe

a film series written and directed by Steve McQueen, and cowritten by Courttia Newland and Alastair Siddons


Averted Intimacies

Bette Howland’s work—full of companionable narrators and dry intelligence—is part of a recent wave of reissues that tests the reach of the literary canon.

W-3: A Memoir

by Bette Howland, with an introduction by Yiyun Li

Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage: Selected Stories

by Bette Howland, edited by Brigid Hughes and with an afterword by Honor Moore


Dividends of a Just Economy

What is keeping the government from acting on behalf of its citizens?

Anti-System Politics: The Crisis of Market Liberalism in Rich Democracies

by Jonathan Hopkin

The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism

by Thomas Frank

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

by Heather McGhee

Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America

by Ian Haney López


Words and Other Violence

Much of the force of Jenny Erpenbeck’s fiction flows from the contrast between the glacial detachment of her tone and the roiling themes of German history that she explores.

Not a Novel: A Memoir in Pieces

by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Kurt Beals

The Old Child and Other Stories

by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky

The Book of Words

by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky

Visitation

by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky

The End of Days

by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky

Go, Went, Gone

by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky

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Editing Humanity’s Future

With CRISPR, our species can turn its inexorable will to control nature back onto itself. Eventually, we could guide human evolution. Does this mean that we should?

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

by Walter Isaacson

Editing Humanity: The CRISPR Revolution and the New Era of Genome Editing

by Kevin Davies

Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity

by Jamie Metzl

Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing

by Françoise Baylis


Lincoln’s Rowdy America

A new biography captures the cultural jumble of great literature, dirty jokes, and everything in between that went into the self-making of the foremost self-made American.

Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times

by David S. Reynolds


No More Mother-Saviors

Recent collections of poetry by Russian women offer a glimpse of how perceptions of feminism are changing in post-communist Slavic countries.

F Letter: New Russian Feminist Poetry

edited by Galina Rymbu, Eugene Ostashevsky, and Ainsley Morse, and translated from the Russian by Eugene Ostashevsky, Ainsley Morse, Alex Karsavin, Helena Kernan, Kit Eginton, Valzhyna Mort, and Kevin M.F. Platt

The Scar We Know

by Lida Yusupova, edited by Ainsley Morse and translated from the Russian by Sibelan Forrester, Martha Kelly, Brendan Kiernan, Madeline Kinkel, Hilah Kohen, Ainsley Morse, Stephanie Sandler, Joseph Schlegel, and Bela Shayevich

Life in Space

by Galina Rymbu, translated from the Russian by Joan Brooks, Helena Kernan, Charles Bernstein, Kevin M.F. Platt, and Anastasiya Osipova, and with a preface by Eugene Ostashevsky


Welcome to Germany

Since Angela Merkel admitted 1.2 million refugees in 2015 and 2016, the dire predictions about their impact on the country have not materialized.

All Over Desire

Mieko Kawakami’s characters live in a world that is made up almost entirely of women but is decidedly not made for them.

Breasts and Eggs

by Mieko Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd


Eclipsed by Fame

There’s a scientific story to tell about Stephen Hawking, but most of his later life served to conceal it.

Hawking Hawking: The Selling of a Scientific Celebrity

by Charles Seife


A Praise House of Many Mansions

In a book and documentary series, Henry Louis Gates Jr. offers a wide-ranging tour of Black religion in America.

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song

by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song

a PBS documentary series produced by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Dyllan McGee


The Companionship of Nature

Running like a troubled thread through Helen Macdonald’s Vesper Flights is the tension between a profound human need for the solace of animals and the acknowledgment, even the insistence, that they are creatures apart.

Vesper Flights: New and Collected Essays

by Helen Macdonald


When Poverty Became Profane

Two recent books, by Debra Kaplan and Natan Meir, examine poverty and charity in European Jewish communities, looking at how a marginalized minority dealt with the problems of destitution and social welfare during periods of rapid change.

The Patrons and Their Poor: Jewish Community and Public Charity in Early Modern Germany

by Debra Kaplan

Stepchildren of the Shtetl: The Destitute, Disabled, and Mad of Jewish Eastern Europe, 1800–1939

by Natan M. Meir


Can America Remain Preeminent?

The global influence of the US is threatened by the potentially chaotic unraveling of a political, security, and economic architecture that has structured the world for the past seventy or so years.

An Open World: How America Can Win the Contest for Twenty-First-Century Order

by Rebecca Lissner and Mira Rapp-Hooper

Exit from Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order

by Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon

A World Safe for Democracy: Liberal Internationalism and the Crises of Global Order

by G. John Ikenberry

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