Involvement is overrated

Benjamin E. Hermalin (UC-Berkeley): At the Helm, Kirk or Spock? Why Even Wholly Rational Actors May Favor and Respond to Charismatic Leaders. Theodore P. Seto (Loyola): A Coasean Theory of Marriage. From Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society, a special issue of freemasonry. From Asian Jewish Life, Navras Jaat Aafreedi on the paradox of the popularity of Hitler in India. From AbeBooks’ Reading Copy blog, Lily King on 18 booksellers who blog. Danny Postel on alternative Left perspectives on Syria.

Paper Trail

Google is looking to expand its headquarters. They want a building big enough to hold 3,000 of its employees—which apparently means something “half the size of the Chrysler Building.” On Sunday Stephen King tweeted the end of a Game of Thrones episode and sparked the outrage of his 370,000 Twitter followers. King has been happily


Great Book/Great Movie

Willie OsterweilWhat does it mean for a movie adaptation to be "true to the book"? Many movies based on novels unimaginatively transcribe plot and dialogue, as if the difference between literature and cinema were

Daily Review

My Struggle, Book Three: Boyhood

What does it mean to make an accounting of a past you can't fully remember? This elegiac dilemma is one of Karl Ove Knausgaard's primary subjects—the difference between how we think about life and its actual moment-by-moment reality. Time changes our perspective: The terrifying tyrant becomes the shrunken Lear; the large, animated rooms of our childhood become small and plain.


Arundhati Roy

"Capitalism: A Ghost Story," Arundhati Roy's most recent book, describes in impassioned detail the consequences of India's economic and political choices over the past few decades. A few Indians have benefited; many, many more have suffered. In late March, Roy spoke with Siddhartha Deb about the increasing wealth divide, the expectations of the "brash new middle class," the impending elections, and the Naxalite protests in the forest.


"Coming Down Again: After the Age of Excess"

Ellen Willis

Here, in an essay originally published in 1989 in the Village Voice and reprinted in the new book The Essential Ellen Willis, Willis dwells on feminism, the concept of excess (sex and drugs), abstinence, gay rights, parenthood, and AIDS. Willis often finds her stride in complexity, and in this piece she intricately examines and interrogates the notions of freedom she holds dear.