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Category Archives: Recommended Books

The Atlantic Introducing an Expanded Books Section

The Atlantic: “…That quality of literature—and the criticism that helps make sense of it—is a large part of why we’re excited to be expanding books coverage at The Atlantic. Since its founding in 1857, this magazine “of Literature, Art, and Politics” has been home to great writing about the momentous books and literary debates of the day. It has championed generations of essayists and novelists and poets (though, in a huge oversight, it didn’t publish Dickinson until after her death). And it has run stories by James Baldwin, Kurt Vonnegut, Louise Erdrich, Alice Munro, and Lauren Groff, to name just a few. Building on this strong base, we’ll be bringing you more of what we’ve always done, as well as some new offerings. Expect more book reviews and essays—plus provocative arguments, reported stories, profiles, original fiction and poetry, and, of course, recommendations for your every reading need. Why now? At first blush, books might not seem very apt at keeping up with the many challenges of our moment. But paradoxically, we might find ourselves turning more and more to books because they demand so much of our attention. Literature has a unique quality of slowing us down even as it widens our horizons. That makes it a particularly fantastic vessel for our era of distraction. Books are also a vehicle for the free expression of ideas, a value that this institution shares and that is under assault culturally and politically. One of the roles of The Atlantic, as our editor at large Cullen Murphy once said, is an obligation to tell “the big story that lurks, untold, behind the smaller ones that do get told.” Books serve this role too. The literary landscape today is full of such undertakings. Novelists are grappling, creatively, with the climate crisis, alleged predatory behavior, the future of work. Poets are taking on crucial questions of identity. Anthropologists are rethinking our assumptions about human social history, writ large. Earlier texts, too, when revisited, can offer historical context that resounds sharply decades later. Reading can show us, anew, the forces that shape our institutions, our beliefs, and our sense of self. It can expand the way we look at the world around us. At The Atlantic, our aim has been, and will be, to introduce readers to such books, old and new, and to engage with the ideas in them critically and inquisitively.”

Confronting Misinformation in the Age of Cheap Speech

LawFare: “In 1995, Eugene Volokh published a law review article in which he predicted that the rapidly growing internet would “dramatically reduce the costs of distributing speech” and that “the new media order that these technologies will bring will be much more democratic and diverse than the environment we see now.” The concept, which Volokh… Continue Reading

The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is: A History, A Philosophy, A Warning

Los Angeles Review of Books: “The Internet has lost its way and taken society with it. Since the mid-2010s, we hear warnings of “dis/misinformation.” We hear about the loss of trust in our institutions and the need to reinvent them for the internet age. In short, we are living in a “crisis moment” — one… Continue Reading

How American Culture Ate the World

The New Republic: “A new book explains why Americans know so little about other countries…How did cultural globalization in the twentieth century travel along such a one-way path? And why is the U.S.—that globe-bestriding colossus with more than 700 overseas bases—so strangely isolated? The answer, Sam Lebovic’s new book, A Righteous Smokescreen: Postwar America and the… Continue Reading

Review: Public Legal Education – The Role of Law Schools In Building a More Legally Literate Society

Wallace, Amy, Review: Public Legal Education – The Role of Law Schools In Building a More Legally Literate Society (Routledge 2021) (October 8, 2021). International Journal of Public Legal Education, Forthcoming, NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3943343, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3943343 “Much has been written about public legal education (“PLE”) since the emergence of… Continue Reading

How Technology Is Changing Intelligence

Webinar now available:  “The Hoover Institution hosted How Technology Is Changing Intelligence on Friday, February 4, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. PST. Emerging technologies are changing who can collect, analyze, and act on information on a global scale. Commercial satellite imagery enabled private citizens to observe the buildup of Russian troops near the Ukraine border and social media platforms provide… Continue Reading

This book has an awful title, but says a lot of great things

FCW: “I recently finished a new book called The Power of Flexing by University of Michigan Business School professor Susan Ashford. (For the record, this is my favorite business school in the country, filled with great professors dedicated to a humane view of organizations.)  I will confess I was turned off by the “flexing” title of the… Continue Reading

What Lois Lowry Remembers

The New Yorker: “Lowry, who has lost a sister and a son, has spent decades writing about the pains of memory. Literature, she says, is “a way that we rehearse life…The title character of Lois Lowry’s most famous novel, “The Giver,” is an old man who guards all of human history and memory. The book’s… Continue Reading