Tag: Books & The Arts

How the GOP Became the Party of Resentment

Few have done more than Perlstein to help cement that interpretation of the decade. His first book, Before the Storm, began the story with a thickly descriptive examination of Goldwater’s consequential loss in the presidential contest of 1964. Goldwater, the scion of a prominent Arizona family, had inherited a department-store fortune. He hated Franklin Roosevelt […]

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The Brutal World of Waiting for the Barbarians

It’s not clear quite what era you’re in. The place seems dislocated in time, an imperial outpost somewhere in the desert, its manners and materials evidently imported from some far-off capital. It looks hot and hazy and a little quaint, as if everyone knows they’re playing their parts in a reassuring period piece—dusty pack animals […]

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The Never Trumpers Have Already Won

Exceptionally close to the Never Trump insurgency, Saldin and Teles take a cozy approach to their study of this movement and its central characters, faithfully drawing on their accounts of the rise of Trump. They start with the national security experts—figures such as former National Security Council staffers Peter Feaver and Philip Zelikow. Officially, this […]

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The Pioneers of the Misinformation Industry

As Breit­bart’s awe for Limbaugh demonstrates, today’s right-wing media did not come out of nowhere. Two new books promise to uncover its prehistory and the widespread sense that it has broken American reality. Claire Bond Potter’s Political Junkies tracks the rise of a broad swath of what she calls “alternative media”—both left and right—since the […]

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The Great Germ War Cover-Up

There is something about scouring classified documents for long-hidden military secrets that attracts a certain type of obsessive. Nicholson Baker, who once wrote a 147-page essay tracking an archaic use of the word lumber through centuries of Anglophone literature, is that type. He somersaulted onto the literary scene in 1988 with The Mezzanine, a heavily […]

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Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Ingenious Families

The Truth’s lower narrative stakes may make it feel slighter than Kore-eda’s most acclaimed works. Shoplifters focused on city dwellers forming a makeshift family, barely getting by in an inhospitable environment that pits them against their neighbors. In the first few minutes of the movie, a man and boy run through their regular routine of […]

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