Knowing How

Taking different approaches, two new books tell the story of how expressions of mind have gained hegemony over manipulations of matter, and what has been damaged in the process.

Craft: An American History

by Glenn Adamson

Art Isn’t Fair: Further Essays on the Traffic in Photographs and Related Media

by Allan Sekula, edited by Sally Stein and Ina Steiner

Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019

an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, November 22, 2019–February 2022

A Warning Ignored

American society did exactly what the Kerner Commission on the urban riots of the mid-1960s advised against, and fifty years later reaped the consequences it predicted.

‘No One Thinks in Esperanto’

A selection from Wislawa Szymborska’s anonymous advice column.

Requiem for a Heavyweight

In Fathoms, Rebecca Giggs tries to comprehend the fact that whales now literally embody their increasingly polluted world.

Fathoms: The World in the Whale

by Rebecca Giggs

Poised and Precarious

Despite the ebullience of Anthony Veasna So’s stories, they ask difficult questions about immigration, assimilation, and whether there’s ever such a thing as one’s “own” life.


by Anthony Veasna So

The Eternal Colony

In Sicily there has been a dysfunctional mismatch for centuries between the many different local communities and the ideas and plans of those governing the island from afar.

The Invention of Sicily: A Mediterranean History

by Jamie Mackay

Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History

by John Julius Norwich

Under the Volcano: Revolution in a Sicilian Town

by Lucy Riall

The Burden of ‘Yes’

Katherine Angel is part of a new generation of female writers who are revisiting ideas of female submission.

Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and Desire in the Age of Consent

by Katherine Angel

‘A Searing Bolt of Turquoise’

Hummingbirds, whose psychedelic feathers cover even more remarkable physiological adaptations, are dying out at alarming rates owing to climate change, but humans have long had a deadly fascination with these startling creatures.

The Glitter in the Green: In Search of Hummingbirds

by Jon Dunn

Hummingbird Salamander

by Jeff VanderMeer

Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment

an exhibition at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville, October 28, 2020–January 17, 2021; the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, February 23–May 23, 2021; the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill, and the Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, June 12–October 31, 2021; and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, November 20, 2021–March 21, 2022

On Edward Hicks

by Sanford Schwartz

The Color Line

W.E.B. Du Bois’s exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition offered him a chance to present a “graphical narrative” of the dramatic gains made by Black Americans since the end of slavery.

W.E.B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America: The Color Line at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

edited by Whitney Battle-Baptiste and Britt Rusert

Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition

edited by Julian Rothenstein, with an introduction by Jacqueline Francis and Stephen G. Hall

A History of Data Visualization and Graphic Communication

by Michael Friendly and Howard Wainer


Julian Sancton recounts the largely forgotten story of the Belgica’s disastrous Antarctic expedition in the late 1890s.

Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night

by Julian Sancton

Nor Gloom of Night

In Vigdis Hjorth’s novel Long Live the Post Horn!, controversy over the European Union’s Third Postal Directive reveals that the mail service is one of the most powerful bonds connecting Norwegians.

Long Live the Post Horn!

by Vigdis Hjorth, translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund

How Can We Neutralize the Militias?

The threat of violence from domestic far-right extremists calls for a measured and well-coordinated response from law enforcement and intelligence services.

Marvel’s Ringmaster

Under Stan Lee’s guidance, Marvel marketed not only its characters but also the men who created them.

True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee

by Abraham Riesman

Stan Lee: A Life in Comics

by Liel Leibovitz

Make Ours Marvel: Media Convergence and a Comics Universe

edited by Matt Yockey

A Visionary Psychopath

The Ottoman sultan Selim I is a near-perfect illustration of Machiavelli’s premise that the powerful individual is the driver of history.

God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World

by Alan Mikhail

The Fourth Woman

In her triptych of genre-bending books, Nathalie Léger amends the archive’s gaps by introducing short flights of speculation and imagination into her accounts of real people, allowing them to swell into living figures.


by Nathalie Léger, translated from the French by Amanda DeMarco

Suite for Barbara Loden

by Nathalie Léger, translated from the French by Natasha Lehrer and Cécile Menon

The White Dress

by Nathalie Léger, translated from the French by Natasha Lehrer

Waiting to Deflate

Two recent books try to explain the seemingly irrational behavior behind speculative bubbles, from the tulip craze of the 1600s to Bitcoin today.

The Delusions of Crowds: Why People Go Mad in Groups

by William J. Bernstein

Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles

by William Quinn and John D. Turner

Where Are You Really From?

With her recent novels, Sarah Moss has proved herself to be one of the most discerning chroniclers of contemporary British life.


by Sarah Moss

Surprising Consensus at the Supreme Court

With narrow rulings in many of its most controversial cases, the Court defied predictions of a sharp turn to the right.

The Vindication of Sanora Babb

Eighty years after her novel about farmers fleeing the Dust Bowl was shelved, Babb’s remarkable writing is finally coming out of America’s literary shadows.

Unknown No More: Recovering Sanora Babb

edited by Joanne Dearcopp and Christine Hill Smith, with a foreword by David M. Wrobel

The Dark Earth and Selected Prose from the Great Depression

by Sanora Babb, with an introduction by Erin Royston Battat

Cry of the Tinamou: Stories

by Sanora Babb, with an introduction by Alan M. Wald

Told in the Seed and Selected Poems

by Sanora Babb

An Owl on Every Post

by Sanora Babb, with a foreword by William Kennedy

The Lost Traveler

by Sanora Babb, with an introduction by Douglas Wixson

Whose Names Are Unknown

by Sanora Babb

On the Dirty Plate Trail: Remembering the Dust Bowl Refugee Camps

by Sanora Babb, with photographs by Dorothy Babb, edited and with an introduction and commentaries by Douglas Wixson

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