Misreading the Cues

The “balanced-literacy” method of teaching children to read has predominated in American schools since the 1990s. It has been a failure.

Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong

an American Public Media podcast created by Emily Hanford

Beyond the Pale

After the Russian Revolution, Jews left behind the shtetl and had to navigate a modern identity: New Soviet Man.

How the Soviet Jew Was Made

by Sasha Senderovich

Going to Extremes

For Matisse art was a perpetual emergency, a matter of testing boundaries, breaking through.

Matisse: The Red Studio

an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, May 1–September 10, 2022; and SMK–National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, October 13, 2022–February 26, 2023

Matisse in the 1930s

an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 20, 2022–January 29, 2023; the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, March 1–May 29, 2023; and the Musée Matisse Nice, June 23–September 24, 2023

Reckoning with Silence

Dionne Brand’s poetry has the weight and sonority of prophetic utterance without a hint of melodrama.

Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems

by Dionne Brand

Arias of Despair

What can opera elicit from The Hours that the page and the screen cannot?

The Hours

an opera by Kevin Puts, with a libretto by Greg Pierce, at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, November 22–December 15, 2022

Putin’s Miscalculation

After two decades of reforming its armed forces, Russia expected a lightning victory in Ukraine, but the ill-starred invasion has revealed their deficiencies.

Putin’s Wars: From Chechnya to Ukraine

by Mark Galeotti

White Fright

A. M. Homes’s new novel might be a satire of American politics, but should we be mainly amused, or mainly horrified?

The Unfolding

by A.M. Homes

Victimhood and Vengeance

The contemporary rise of Christian nationalism in the US is a reactionary response to the country’s liberalization over the past half-century.

The Flag and the Cross: White Christian Nationalism and the Threat to American Democracy

by Philip S. Gorski and Samuel L. Perry, with a foreword by Jemar Tisby

Christianity’s American Fate: How Religion Became More Conservative and Society More Secular

by David A. Hollinger

This Earthly Frame: The Making of American Secularism

by David Sehat

Friends: A Love Story

Jean Chen Ho’s main characters like each other plenty, with all the trouble that comes with that.

Fiona and Jane

by Jean Chen Ho

Sonnets for the State

A new book recounts the history of the Circle of Writing Chekists, a group of officials in the East German Ministry of State Security who wrote poetry as a weapon in the class struggle.

The Stasi Poetry Circle: The Creative Writing Class That Tried to Win the Cold War

by Philip Oltermann

Illuminating the Brain’s ‘Utter Darkness’

A new biography considers the peculiar life of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, whose discovery that nerve cells are individual completely overthrew the existing theory of the brain.

The Brain in Search of Itself: Santiago Ramón y Cajal and the Story of the Neuron

by Benjamin Ehrlich

Spark: The Life of Electricity and the Electricity of Life

by Timothy J. Jorgensen

The Other Cuba

An exhibition of Cuban art from the past decade charts the emergence of a group of artists who have broken the state’s monopoly on public discourse.

Sin Autorización: Contemporary Cuban Art

‘The Sanctuary of Pure Expression’

A new biography of Mina Loy shows that the roving modernist saw artistic genius as a means to self-reinvention.

Mina Loy: Apology of Genius

by Mary Ann Caws

Grim Reapers

Mega-agriculture is destroying the Corn Belt and the Central Valley, which the country’s food system depends on. Can midsize farms survive to save it?

Perilous Bounty: The Looming Collapse of American Farming and How We Can Prevent It

by Tom Philpott

The Farmer’s Lawyer: The North Dakota Nine and the Fight to Save the Family Farm

by Sarah Vogel

Issue Details

Cover art
Peter Mendelsund: Painting 0039, from the series Machines for Seeing, 2020

Series art
Jochen Gerner, Mobile Modules, 2022–2023

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