A Gallery Grows in Brooklyn

Alia Malek

Medium Tings gallery, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, 2018

“Medium Tings” is a new living-room gallery in Crown Heights: “medium” as a play on both art materials and on the size of artwork that can fit in a living room, and “tings” to pay reverence to the Caribbean roots long planted in the Brooklyn neighborhood, one in the throes of gentrification and its fallout.

Who Ordered Black Cube’s Dirty Tricks?

Trita Parsi

President Trump announcing the US’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement in front of a portrait of George Washington in the White House, May 8, 2018

It seems clear that whoever hired Black Cube—in an effort to discredit me and former Obama administration officials—favored the US’s withdrawal from the Iran deal. If a foreign private intelligence agency was hired to help change a vital aspect of US foreign policy, with global consequences, it is a matter of urgent public interest to discover who ordered the operation and who paid for it. Congress has a responsibility to investigate. If the Trump administration was involved in a Nixonian campaign to justify its disastrous policy-making, we deserve to know.

After-Shocks of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

Ian Johnson

Ruins from one of the most significant earthquakes in Chinese history, pictured a month before the tenth anniversary of the earthquake, Beichuan county, Mianyang, Sichuan, China, April 5, 2018

On May 12, 2008, one of the most disastrous earthquakes in Chinese history struck Sichuan, killing 69,000 people and leaving another 18,000 missing. The quake occurred during a time of enormous social ferment in China brought on by rising expectations and the ability to express them through the Internet, which the authorities had not yet brought to heel. This made the earthquake seem like a portent of enormous change, perhaps leading to a more open society. A decade on, the quake was indeed an omen of change, but not in the way that many expected.

1968: Year of Counter-Revolution

Todd Gitlin

Associates of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the slain civil rights leader lying on the motel balcony, pointing in the direction of the assassin, Memphis, Tennessee, April 4, 1968

The familiar collages of 1968’s collisions do evoke the churning surfaces of events, reproducing the uncanny, off-balance feeling of 1968. But they fail to illuminate the meaning of events. If the texture of 1968 was chaos, underneath was a structure that today can be—and needs to be—seen more clearly. The left was wildly guilty of misrecognition. What haunted America was not the misty specter of revolution but the solidifying specter of reaction.

How My Father Made Landfall

Sylvia Poggioli

The author’s parents, Renata and Renato Poggioli, in the mid-1940s

I’d always known my father’s papers contained a trove of letters from some of the big names in twentieth-century literature. But it wasn’t until I finally began going through my father’s papers one by one that I discovered the breadth and richness of his literary world, his passion and political engagement. Then, one day last spring, I found two yellowing, handwritten sheets of paper among the mostly typewritten letters: one was a note, the other contained verses. At the bottom of each was the clear signature of W.H. Auden.

Walking the Streets with Geoff Dyer & Garry Winogrand

Richard B. Woodward

New York City, 1960

Geoff Dyer’s new book, The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand, is more linear than his first, The Ongoing Moment, but no less idiosyncratic. Selecting one hundred images from among the estimated one million that the fantastically prolific street photographer made during his life, Dyer analyzes each one in jaunty riffs that are longer than extended captions but shorter than fully-formed essays. The structure suits Dyer’s talents perfectly.

Growing Up in Wartime France

Huguette Martel

In 1940, the Germans invaded France. My family found refuge in a village near Normandy. My brother and I spent part of the war hiding with a peasant family who took in Jewish children. We were the lucky ones; nobody denounced us to the Germans who were occupying the village. But at the start of the war, a bomb fell on our house. I was alone with my mother at the time. She was badly injured.

A Longed-For Tristan

Larry Wolff

Camilla Nylund and Jonas Kaufmann performing Tristan and Isolde, with conductor Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, New York City, April 12, 2018

Tristan und Isolde is an opera about longing, but the longing in Carnegie Hall was focused on tenor Jonas Kaufmann, after several cancellations of performances in New York, notably at the Metropolitan Opera. He is easily the most celebrated tenor in the world today, sings to great acclaim in a variety of styles, from Wagner to Puccini. At the end of this performance, he was collecting so many bouquets that it began to seem a little insulting to the marvelous Finnish soprano singing Isolde, Camilla Nylund.

The Open Secret of Charlie Rose

Reah Bravo

Charlie Rose attending a media function in New York City on November 1, 2017. Three weeks later, CBS and PBS cut their ties with the TV host after a number of women went public with accusations against him of sexual harassment and misconduct at work

I was a highly educated woman with a strong support network, and I had been privy to the open secret. Rose’s lechery didn’t sideswipe me; it swallowed me, slowly, and despite my best efforts. For those who carry the scars of having worked for the Charlie Roses of the world, it has become only too apparent how such misconduct can be normalized, even among intelligent and well-intentioned people, and even in the highest offices and most esteemed institutions in the country.

Doolittle Done Well

Ian Buruma

Lauren Ambrose and Harry Hadden-Paton in My Fair Lady, Lincoln Center Theater, 2018

One of the most moving scenes is the private celebration after the ball, where Eliza manages to pass for the first time as a grand lady. Higgins is toasted by all his servants, and Pickering sings: “You did it! You did it!…” All the while, Eliza sits in a corner, utterly ignored, as though she had played no active part in her transformation from a flower girl to a lady, as though she were nothing but Higgins’s artifact. This is also the moment of her rebellion.