paper trail

Alexander Zevin discusses the history of liberalism

Alexander Zevin

Ganesh Sitaraman is a top adviser for Elizabeth Warren. But as Politico reports, the first person thanked in the acknowledgements section of Sitaraman’s new book, The Great Democracy, is not Warren but one of her biggest rivals: “Conversations with Pete Buttigieg were invaluable, and this book wouldn’t exist without them or without his characteristically thoughtful advice, encouragement, and friendship,” Sitaraman writes.

Editor and author Elisabeth Sifton died late last week. According to the obituary in the New York Times, authors she worked with included Isaiah Berlin, Don DeLillo, Ann Douglas, Susan Eisenhower, Carlos Fuentes, Philip Gourevitch, Michael Ignatieff, Stanley Karnow, Stephen Kinzer, J.R. MacArthur, Robert MacNeil, Peter Matthiessen, Jules Witcover, and Victor S. Navasky. Sifton wrote, with her husband, Fritz Stern, No Ordinary Men: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, Resisters Against Hitler in Church and State. She also wrote about her father, Reinhold Niebuhr, the theologian who popularized the Serenity Prayer.

Bill Gates recommends five books for 2019.

Scribner’s Nan Graham and Kara Watson have acquired Tahmima Anam’s novel The Startup Wife, which the publisher describes as “a sharp, satirical look at marriage, work, and female friendship in the age of peak technology.” In the book, two high school sweethearts build an “algorithm to replace religion,” and wind up running one of the world’s largest social-media platforms. In other book-deal news, Alissa Quart has sold her new book, Bootstrapped, to Ecco for a reported six figures. According to Quart’s agent, Jill Grinberg, the book “will look at how this deeply ingrained ideal of American self-reliance and do-it-yourself grit has helped to both mask and perpetuate the wealth gap in this country, and what we can do to address it.”

At The Believer, writer Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi revisits Lynne Tillman’s novel Motion Sickness. “Part philosophical diary, part travelogue, and part an examination of the constraints national narratives place on personhood and our perception of others, Motion Sickness begs to be read alongside a broad constellation of books that simultaneously use literature to expose the unreality of identity and to examine the poetic and geo-political dynamics of space.”

Tonight at Artists Space in New York, Alexander Zevin will celebrate the release of his new book, Liberalism at Large, by discussing his work with authors Adam Tooze and Atossa Araxia Abrahamian. Zevin’s discussion of the history of liberalism and its changing message should be particularly relevant in the aftermath of the election in Britain and the oncoming election in the US.