The Psychopharmacology of Everyday Life

Jamieson Webster

Various pharmaceuticals

Modern psychopharmacology goes hand in hand with a psychiatric diagnostic system that has, over time, been redefined to rely on medicating symptoms away rather than looking at the structure of the mind and its complex permutations in order to work with a patient in a deeply engaged way over the long haul. Modern psychiatry is hailed as a scientific success story, and drug companies have profited from the fact that talking therapies are often thought to take too long, their results frequently dismissed as unverifiable. I question, though, whether we should demand verified results when it comes to our mental life: Do you believe someone who promises you happiness in a pill?

The Prophets, Angels, & Churches of ‘Armenia!’

Gini Alhadeff

Alexander Romance, copied in Rome, 1538–1544

The exclamation mark following the word “Armenia” in the exhibition’s title—curator Helen Evans’s idea—was meant to convey her surprise that Armenian art and culture aren’t studied more or better known. The objects on display range from the fourth to the seventeenth centuries and represent the different regions Armenians inhabited. Armenia was one of the first states to adopt the Christian religion—as early as AD 301—and its history has been defined both by this, its status as an outpost of Eastern Orthodox religion surrounded by Muslim neighbors, and by its role in establishing trade routes from China and India to Western Europe, and from Egypt and the Holy Land to Russia.

Not in Our Grandchildren’s Lifetime

Danny Lyon

Young aspen trees

It takes a century for a pinyon forest to return to what it was before a fire. The Jemez are mostly pine trees, not pinyons or cedars, and within the pine forest are ponderosa pines, which grow straight as an arrow, often have diameters of over three feet, and tower far into the sky. They make beautiful burnt corpses. The smaller pines are a lot less interesting, either alive or dead—when they look like matchsticks blown down by a hurricane.

Why Britain Needs Its Own Mueller

Carole Cadwalladr

Nigel Farage speaking at a press conference the day after the Brexit referendum, flanked by Arron Banks (far left) and Andy Wigmore (right), Westminster, London, June 24, 2016

Britain and America, Brexit and Trump, are inextricably entwined. By Nigel Farage. By Cambridge Analytica. By Steve Bannon. By the Russian ambassador to London, Alexander Yakovenko, who has been identified by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a conduit between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The same questions that dog the US election dog ours, too. There is one vital difference on this between the US and the UK. America has the Mueller investigation.

In the Review Archives: 2000–2004

The Editors

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.

Decolonizing Commemoration: New War Art

Maya Jaggi

South African Native Labour Corps troops around a brazier at their camp in Dannes, France, March 1917

Official betrayal was epitomized in Britain by the Victory Parade of July 19, 1919. Lutyens, whose Cenotaph in London was the saluting point, may have sought to embrace all the Empire faithful, but Colonial Office officials deemed it “impolitic to bring coloured detachments to participate in the peace processions.” Indians were among the 15,000 soldiers and sailors on parade, but West Indians and Nigerians were not. Today, a wave of work by artists and historians is challenging World War I’s monochrome image, raising profound questions about the selectiveness of remembrance and how those who have been willfully erased can best be restored to memory.

How Brexit Broke Up Britain

Fintan O’Toole

A sticker reading

There is overwhelming evidence that the English people who voted for Brexit do not, on the whole, care about the United Kingdom and in particular that part of it called Northern Ireland. Asked whether “the unravelling of the peace process in Northern Ireland” is a “price worth paying” for Brexit, fully 83 percent of Leave voters and 73 percent of Conservative voters in England agree that it is. So, while the people who voted for Brexit are waving goodbye to the United Kingdom, Theresa May—with, in this, the support of Corbyn’s Labour—has vowed to “always fight to strengthen and sustain this precious, precious Union.” Brexit cannot be properly articulated because it has made a sacred cause of fighting for the very thing Brexit voters don’t care about.

‘I’m not the Resistance, I’m a reporter’: An Interview with April Ryan

Claudia Dreifus

April Ryan raising her hand to put a question to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Washington, D.C., October 31, 2017

Claudia Dreifus: If your predecessor as the dean of the White House press corps, the late Helen Thomas, could come down from journalism heaven, what do you think she’d tell you?
April Ryan: “Keep doing what you’re doing.” She’d be the first person banging on the door for answers. She had the doors closed quite a bit on her, though it never stopped her. But people in power were afraid of her. She wielded real power. Like her, I’m not looking for approval. I’m looking to do my job.

An Artist’s Menagerie

Huguette Martel

This seal belongs to the Brooklyn Zoo. She barks like a dog and even looks a bit like a dog. She also looks like an old man—Winston Churchill, specifically—and depending on her expression, like another, more contemporary politician who will remain nameless. She is a fantastic swimmer. She catches small fish and the children love to watch. Altogether, she seems content enough with her life, if a bit pensive.

Obama and the Legacy of Africa’s Renaissance Generation

Aminatta Forna

Barack Obama as a child with his father Barack Obama Sr., 1960s

It came to be a core belief held by the American public and media that Barack Obama was a self-creation who had stepped out of nowhere. But for me, Obama’s story is remarkably familiar and concrete. Our fathers both belonged to the postwar wave of Africans educated in the West who saw themselves as the architects of decolonization. The writer Wole Soyinka called them the “Renaissance Generation.” There’s a quality of character they wear, whose origins I have come to understand. They carry, alongside a worldly ease, a sense of duty, of obligation and responsibility, that imbues all they say and do. I try to imagine an Africa if they had never been, and I cannot.