American manifesto

Stipe Grgas (Zagreb): American Studies as a Contemporary Disciplinary Practice. On Hamilton and Jefferson: Rob Farley and Erik Loomis debate history, politics, and the legacy of the Founders. Seeing America in the spirit of Tocqueville: Chris Barker and Tao Wang interview Harvey Mansfield on Democracy in America. The Self-Made Man: John Swansburg on the story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth. Julie Beck on the grisly, all-American appeal of serial killers: In trying to

Paper Trail

New York Magazine has a timeline describing Rolling Stone’s handling of the University of Virginia rape story. Most recently, Rolling Stone has asked the Columbia University journalism school to independently review the editorial process behind the article. The magazine will publish the report once it’s concluded. The Columbia Journalism Review looks back at the past year’s worst mistakes


Andre Dubus's best characters

Bibi DeitzAndre Dubus's literary superpower is to hit upon that one thing about a character that makes him him, or her her. And in so doing, with subtle, clever details—breadcrumbs on the trail to the nucleus

Daily Review

Songs of S.

Poets have long inhabited personas and channeled voices. As Frank Bidart suggests in his poem "Advice to the Players," artists, particularly poets, take on the roles of others to create a "mirror in which we see ourselves."


Meghan Daum

Meghan Daum published her first collection of essays, My Misspent Youth (2001), to wide praise. In the title essay, Daum described living in Manhattan as a writer in her mid-twenties, and the difficulty of discerning truth from fantasy in a city that lends itself to easy mythologizing.


A Store of Half-Knowledge

Charles D'Ambrosio

The essay, at its best, is a genre shaped by the character of its author. Charles D’Ambrosio describes it as “a forum for self-doubt.” The author’s irresolution runs throughout Loitering, his new collection. “We are more intimately bound to one another by our kindred doubts than our brave conclusions,” he notes. By communicating uncertainty, D’Ambrosio eases its isolation.