A Hero’s History

Heimskringla by Snorri Sturluson, translated by Lee M. Hollander

The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, translated by Jean I. Young

Gods, Demons and Others by R.K. Narayan

The Age of Biology

New Patterns in Genetics and Development by C.H. Waddington

The Nature of Life by C.H. Waddington

The Life of the Cell: Its Nature, Origin and Basic Development by J.A.V. Butler

The Biochemical Approach to Life by F.R. Jevons

Genetics and Man by C.D. Darlington

Heredity and the Nature of Man by Theodosius Dobzhansky

The House of Napoleon

The Golden Bees: The Story of the Bonapartes by Theo Aronson

Napoleon and Josephine by Frances Mossiker

The Empress Eugenie by Harold Kurtz


Film: The Creative Process by John Howard Lawson

Cinema Eye, Cinema Ear by John Russell Taylor

Behind the Screen by Kenneth Macgowan


Al Alvarez is the author of Risky Business, a selection of essays, many of which first appeared in The New York Review of Books.

Neal Ascherson is the author of Black Sea, Stone Voices: The Search for Scotland and the novel Death of the Fronsac. He is an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.
 (December 2019)

Geoffrey Barraclough (1908–1984) was a British historian.

Sybille Bedford (1911–2006) was born Sybille von Schoenebeck in Charlottenburg, Germany, to an aristocratic German father and a partly Jewish, British-born mother. Raised variously in Germany, Italy, France, and England, she lived with her mother and Italian stepfather after her father’s death when she was seven, and was educated privately. Encouraged by Aldous Huxley, Bedford began writing fiction at the age of sixteen and went on to publish four novels, all influenced by her itinerant childhood among the European aristocracy: A Legacy (1956), A Favourite of the Gods (1963), A Compass Error (1968), and Jigsaw (1989, short-listed for the Booker Prize). She married Walter Bedford in 1935 and lived briefly in America during World War II, before returning to England. She was a prolific travel writer, the author of a two-volume biography of her friend Aldous Huxley, and a legal journalist, covering nearly one hundred trials. In 1981 she was awarded the Order of the British Empire.

Jason Epstein, former Editorial Director at Random House, was a founder of The New York Review and of the Library of America. He is the author of Eating: A Memoir. (Dectember 2013)

Ted Hughes’s translation of Racine’s Phèdre will be staged at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in January and published that month. His translation of the complete Oresteia, of which the poem in this issue is the opening, will be staged by the National Theatre in England and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in June. His last book was Birthday Letters. He died on October 28. (December 1998)

Martin Malia is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author, most recently, of Russia Under Western Eyes, from the Bronze Horseman to the Lenin Mausoleum. (November 2001)

Robert Mazzocco (1932–2017) was an American poet and critic.

Stephen Toulmin (1922–2009) was a British philosopher. First outlined in The Uses of Argument, his model for analyzing arguments has had a lasting influence on fields as diverse as law, computer science and communications theory. Toulmin’s other works include The Abuse of Casuistry: A History of Moral Reasoning and Return to Reason.