The Bitter End

Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944–1945 by Max Hastings

The End: Hamburg 1943 by Hans Erich Nossack, translated from the German and with a foreword by Joel Agee, and with photographs by Erich Andres

The Moment of Truth?

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger as Your Brain Grows Older by Elkhonon Goldberg


Russell Baker is a former columnist and correspondent for The New York Times and The Baltimore Sun. His books include The Good Times, Growing Up, and Looking Back.

Christopher Benfey is Mellon Professor of English at Mount Holyoke. He is the author, most recently, of Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay.

(October 2015)

Jeremy Bernstein’s books include Plutonium: A History of the World’s Most Dangerous Element , Nuclear Weapons: What You Need to Know and A Palette of Particles.
 His latest book is Nuclear Iran (October, 2014).

Mark Danner is Chancellor’s Professor of English and Journalism at the University of California at ­Berkeley and James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities at Bard. His forthcoming book is Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War. His writing and other work can be found at

Freeman Dyson has spent most of his life as a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, taking time off to advise the US government and write books for the general public. He was born in England and worked as a civilian scientist for the Royal Air Force during World War II. He came to Cornell University as a graduate student in 1947 and worked with Hans Bethe and Richard Feynman, producing a user-friendly way to calculate the behavior of atoms and radiation. He also worked on nuclear reactors, solid-state physics, ferromagnetism, astrophysics, and biology, looking for problems where elegant mathematics could be usefully applied. Dyson’s books include Disturbing the Universe (1979), Weapons and Hope (1984), Infinite in All Directions (1988), Origins of Life (1986, second edition 1999), The Sun, the Genome and the Internet (1999), The Scientist as Rebel (2006, published by New York Review Books), and A Many-Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe (2010). New York Review Books will publish Dreams of Earth and Sky, a new collection of Dyson’s essays, in April 2015. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the Royal Society of London. In 2000 he was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

Helen Epstein is a writer specializing in public health and an adjunct professor at Bard College. She has advised numerous organizations, including the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, Human Rights Watch, and UNICEF. She is the author of The Invisible Cure: Why We Are Losing the Fight Against AIDS in Africa and has contributed articles to many publications, including The New York Review of Books and The New York Times Magazine. Research for her article in the December 18, 2014 issue was supported by a grant from the Investigative Fund at 
the Nation Institute.

Timothy Garton Ash is Professor of European Studies and Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford. He leads the Free Speech Debate project at Oxford ( and is writing a book about free speech.

Sue Halpern is a regular contributor to The New York ­Review and a Scholar-in-Residence at Middlebury. Her latest book is A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home.

 (October 2015)

Simon Head is an Associate Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford and a Scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. His most recent book is The New Ruthless Economy: Work and Power in the Digital Age. (January 2011)

Joseph Kerman is emeritus professor of music at the University of California, Berkeley. He began writing music criticism for The Hudson Review in the 1950s, and is a longtime contributor to The New York Review of Books and many other journals. His books include Opera as Drama (1956; new and revised edition 1988), The Beethoven Quartets (1967), Contemplating Music (1986), Concerto Conversations (1999), and The Art of Fugue (2005).

John Lanchester is the author of five books including, most recently, I.O.U.: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay. In 2008 he received the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
 (December 2011)

Andrew O’Hagan’s new novel, The Illuminations, has just been published. (June 2015)

Max Rodenbeck is The Economist’s Middle East Bureau Chief. He lives in Cairo. (Septemer 2014)

Alan Ryan’s On Tocqueville and On Marx were published last year. He is the author of the two-volume work On Politics: A History of Political Thought: From Herodotus to the Present. He is visiting professor of philosophy at Stanford.

Sanford Schwartz is the author of Christen Købke and William Nicholson. (June 2015)

Timothy Snyder is the Housum Professor of History at Yale. 
His essay in the September 24, 2015 issue is drawn from his new book, Black Earth: The ­Holocaust as History and Warning, published in September 2015 by Tim Duggan Books, an imprint of Random House.

Gordon Wood is the Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown. In honor of the 250th ­anniversary of the Stamp Act, his two edited volumes of The American Revolution: Writings from the Pamphlet Debate, 1764–1776 will be published this summer, 2015.