It’s Alive!

Zach Maher


Over the years contributors to The New York Review have looked at the birth of mechanical life, the question of whether computers may be said to “live” at all, and the ways in which technology might, someday, grow up. A selection of readings on these subjects is presented here.

Medicine and Mistrust

Zach Maher


The New York Review has published many articles on what Jerome Groopman calls our “culture of suspicion,” the widespread unease with expertise and mistrust of authority that complicates relations between doctors and patients. A selection of these articles is presented here.

The Life of the Sea

The Editors

Whit Welles

A study published in the journal Science this week found that humans have “profoundly affected marine wildlife,” and that current trends suggest that the loss of marine animal life will “rapidly intensify as human use of the oceans industrializes.” We present here a selection of articles on the beauty and complexity of the marine life under threat and on human exploration of the sea.

“The Room You Wanted to Be In”

Richard Kaye

Gjon Mili/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

My memories of my four years as an editorial assistant at The New York Review in the 1980s now seem indelibly connected to three people I knew well when I was there—David Daniel, Bob Tashman, and Charles Rosen. Each seems connected to a New York City that is quite different from the city of today, each had a tough-minded love of great writing, and each took an enormous delight in antic ironies.

The Robert B. Silvers Lectures

The Editors

Jori Klein/New York Public Library

The Robert B. Silvers Lecture is an annual series at the New York Public Library, created by Max Palevsky in recognition of the work of Robert B. Silvers, editor of The New York Review of Books, of which he was a founder in 1963. The series features writers and thinkers whose fields correspond to the broad range of Mr. Silvers’s interests in literature, the arts, politics, economics, history, and the sciences.

Reading Seamus Heaney

Matthew Howard

Martine Franck/Magnum Photos

The Irish writer and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, who died on August 30 in Dublin, was for the last forty years both a contributor to The New York Review of Books and one of its frequent subjects. In 1973, Stephen Spender, reviewing books of poetry by Thom Gunn, W.S. Merwin, James Merrill, James Schuyler, Philip Levine, Kenneth Koch, and Heaney, wrote:

It is difficult to know what to say about Seamus Heaney except that he is very good, very Irish, very honest. His poems are, I suppose, autobiographical and are direct reports on experience. Nothing, on the level of the experience, seems invented. At the same time, he is intoxicated with language, so that the event, almost cinematically described, is dense with the texture of the words.

Heaney went on to publish a number of poems, a review, and an introduction and excerpts from his acclaimed Beowulf translation in the Review. Fifteen of his books were reviewed in our pages, and we present several of the pieces below, in his memory.

Covering Nixon

The Editors


On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon resigned as president, after a long effort to avoid impeachment on charges related to the Watergate scandal. We present below a few highlights of the Review’s coverage of the Nixon presidency, including pieces by Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, I.F. Stone, Garry Wills, Philip Roth, and Mary McCarthy.