The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne
by Anna Bikont, translated from the Polish by Alissa Valles
Anna Bikont’s book The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne is meticulous in its procedures, absolute in its commitment to truth, and—perhaps therefore—powerfully dispiriting.
A friend of mine, widowed in his sixties, told me, “This is a crappy age for it to happen.” Meaning, I think, that if the catastrophe had happened in his seventies, he could have settled in and waited for death; whereas if it had happened in his fifties, he might have been able to restart his life. But every age is a crappy age for it to happen, and there is no correct answer in that game of would-you-rather. How do you compare the grief of a young parent left with small children to that of an aged person amputated from his or her partner of fifty or sixty years? There is no hierarchy to grief, except in the matter of feeling.
Hearing of John Updike’s death in January of this year, I had two immediate, ordinary reactions. The first was a protest—“But I thought we had him for another ten years”; the second, a feeling of disappointment that Stockholm had never given him the nod. The latter was a wish for …
by George Orwell, compiled and with an introduction by George Packer
All Art Is Propaganda: Critical Essays
by George Orwell, compiled by George Packer, with an introduction by Keith Gessen
You have to feel a little sorry for Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan Wilkes, or “Sambo” and “Flip” as they were known to their charges. During the first decades of the twentieth century, they ran St. Cyprian’s, a preparatory school in Eastbourne, on the south coast of England. It was no …
That Sweet Enemy: The French and the British from the Sun King to the Present
by Robert and Isabelle Tombs
In January, a government document was discovered in the British national archives which, according to the Guardian newspaper, “shocked historians.” This was the note, dated September 28, 1956, of a meeting in London between the British prime minister, the conservative and Francophile Anthony Eden, and his French equivalent, the socialist …