To celebrate the Review’s fifty-fifth anniversary we have been featuring some notable articles from the magazine’s archives. Today we travel back to the late 1990s, when Garry Wills investigated the origins and meaning of the Second Amendment, Hilary Mantel reviewed Margaret Atwood’s novel Alias Grace, Martin Filler assessed the new Getty Center in Los Angeles, Alma Guillermoprieto reported on the state of Cuba after four decades of Fidel Castro, and Joyce Carol Oates considered four books about the murder of JonBenét Ramsey.
We continue our fifty-fifth anniversary tour through the Review’s archives with five pieces from the early 1990s: Janet Malcolm on morals for journalists, John Gregory Dunne on the beating of Rodney King and its aftermath in Los Angeles, Joyce Carol Oates on Muhammad Ali, a poem by James Fenton, and Charles Lane on the sources for The Bell Curve.
To celebrate The New York Review’s fifty-fifth anniversary, we are featuring one article from each year of the magazine’s history. Today’s selection, from the late Eighties, includes Oliver Sacks on an extraordinary artist, Italo Calvino on rereading the classics, Ronald Dworkin on the Bork nomination, Joan Didion on the press and political campaigns, and Timothy Garton Ash on the fall of the Berlin Wall.
A life in literary criticism: how Review writers read and responded to the books of V.S. Naipaul (1932–2018).
From 2002, Hilary Mantel: Perhaps what we will say about Naipaul was that he was the self-made man who didn’t stop at weaving the cloth for his own garments but clothed his own bones in prose. We will say he was the rational man who was afraid to see night fall, because it falls within himself. His shining belief in order and progress is stained by an area of internal darkness: by a natural apprehension—though not a certainty—that the power of reason will be defeated.