March 9, 2023 issue
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Best of The New York Review, plus books, events, and other items of interest
credit: Jim Gipe
Christopher Benfey is the Mellon Professor of English Emeritus at Mount Holyoke. His most recent book is If: The Untold Story of Kipling’s American Years. (February 2023)
Buildings Come to Life
In Edward Hopper’s paintings of New York, human figures often seem outgrowths of their architectural surroundings.
Edward Hopper’s New York
an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, October 19, 2022–March 5, 2023
February 23, 2023 issue
Emerson & His ‘Big Brethren’
“‘You are yourself a sequoia,’ John Muir told Emerson during the philosopher’s trip to California in 1871. ‘Stop and get acquainted with your big brethren.’”
The California Days of Ralph Waldo Emerson
by Brian C. Wilson
October 20, 2022 issue
The Hum of Humanity
The autobiographical turn in Stanley Cavell’s later work illuminates his extraordinarily varied philosophical interests.
Here and There: Sites of Philosophy
by Stanley Cavell, edited by Nancy Bauer, Alice Crary, and Sandra Laugier
Little Did I Know: Excerpts from Memory
by Stanley Cavell
May 12, 2022 issue
Exile on Main Street
A new book argues that Edgar Lee Masters’s Spoon River Anthology helped overturn old notions of the virtuous New England village as the prototype of American life.
Spoon River America: Edgar Lee Masters and the Myth of the American Small Town
by Jason Stacy
December 2, 2021 issue
‘Such a Lovely Turmoil’
Albert Pinkham Ryder was described as the American Van Gogh; Jackson Pollock called him “the only American master who interests me.” Why has his reputation waned?
A Wild Note of Longing: Albert Pinkham Ryder and a Century of American Art
an exhibition at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Massachusetts, June 24–October 31, 2021
October 7, 2021 issue
‘A Searing Bolt of Turquoise’
Hummingbirds, whose psychedelic feathers cover even more remarkable physiological adaptations, are dying out at alarming rates owing to climate change, but humans have long had a deadly fascination with these startling creatures.
The Glitter in the Green: In Search of Hummingbirds
by Jon Dunn
by Jeff VanderMeer
Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment
an exhibition at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville, October 28, 2020–January 17, 2021; the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, February 23–May 23, 2021; the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill, and the Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, June 12–October 31, 2021; and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, November 20, 2021–March 21, 2022
On Edward Hicks
by Sanford Schwartz
August 19, 2021 issue
Pranksters and Puritans
Peter Mancall’s biography of Thomas Morton discusses Morton’s attempts to provoke the Pilgrims and undercut the Puritans.
The Trials of Thomas Morton: An Anglican Lawyer, His Puritan Foes, and the Battle for a New England
by Peter C. Mancall
February 25, 2021 issue
The Opposite of Ordinary
a documentary film directed by Alla Kovgan
Dancing with Merce Cunningham
by Marianne Preger-Simon, with a foreword by Stuart Hodes and an afterword by Alastair Macaulay
Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)
by John Cage, edited by Joe Biel and Richard Kraft, with an afterword by David W. Rose
Love, Icebox: Letters from John Cage to Merce Cunningham
with a foreword, commentary, and afterword by Laura Kuhn
Merce Cunningham: After the Arbitrary
by Carrie Noland
July 2, 2020 issue
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