In a departure from traditional Independence Day celebrations on July 4 in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump decreed that this year’s event, which he has called a “Salute to America,” would involve a military parade featuring US Army tanks and Air Force flyovers, as well as a presidential address before a ticketed VIP audience at the Lincoln Memorial. To mark the occasion, the editors prepared a visual history of military parades.
At this time of the year, it’s hard to avoid publications’ lists of Most-Read Pieces. The desire to parade one’s greatest hits is understandable, though it does seem a little superfluous simply to resurface articles that already topped the Most Popular charts. We thought we’d introduce a little human agency, instead of leaving it to an algorithm. So what follows is an eccentric list, in no particular order, of essays the Daily ran this year that didn’t, in fact, break the Internet but that we and some of our colleagues on the Review just really liked.
To celebrate the Review’s fifty-fifth anniversary in 2018, we have been going back into our archives year by year. In this week’s newsletter: John Leonard on Joan Didion, John Updike on van Gogh’s letters, Zadie Smith on speaking in tongues, and a broad range of perspectives on the 2008 election. We also remember founding editor Barbara Epstein. “She possessed one of the greatest minds I’ve ever encountered,” Luc Sante writes, “and she gave all of it to other people’s work.”