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.”
To celebrate the Review’s fifty-fifth anniversary in 2018, we have been going back into our archives year by year. Today we go back to the turn of the millennium, with Tatyana Tolstaya on Russia’s new president, Tony Judt on the future of Israel, James McPherson on enduring Civil War fantasies, William Nordhaus on what war in Iraq would cost, and Marcia Angell on the deceptions of the pharmaceutical industry.
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.