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Is Civil War Coming to America?

HOW CIVIL WARS STARTAnd How to Stop ThemBy Barbara F. WalterTHE NEXT CIVIL WARDispatches From the American FutureBy Stephen MarcheLast month, three retired generals warned that the U.S. military needs to start preparing for the possibility of internal breakdown over the 2024 election. “In a contested election,” they wrote, “some might follow orders from the rightful commander in chief, while others might follow the Trumpian loser. … Under such a
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Led Zeppelin Gets Into Your Soul

Still, such indebtedness can rub pride thin. It was always a bit embarrassing, if you grew up in Britain in the nineteen-seventies, that the local rock stars one so admired seemed compelled to sing with fake American accents. Why was this guy even singing about a levee? Sometimes I used to catch myself thinking, Do they really have to sound like that? It turned out that they didn’t really have to;
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Abdurraqib, Lin Win ALA’s 2022 Carnegie Medals

The American Library Association on Sunday announced the winners of the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. Tom Lin won the fiction honor for The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu (Little, Brown) and Hanif Abdurraqib won the nonfiction honor for A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance (Random House).The selections were announced at the Reference and User Services Association's Book and Media
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Dennis Smith, Firefighter Who Wrote Best Sellers, Dies at 81

“Please remember,” Mr. Smith wrote, “that the poet, as evidenced by his writings, was Irish first.”Through circuitous routes, he was contacted by an editor at McCall’s magazine, was featured in a New Yorker interview, was commissioned to write an article for True magazine for $1,500 and received a $30,000 advance for his proposed book on Engine Company 82.His marriage to Patricia Kearney in 1962 ended in divorce in 1985. In
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The Genius of Toni Morrison’s Only Short Story

In 1980 Toni Morrison sat down to write her one and only short story, “Recitatif.” The fact that there is only one Morrison short story seems of a piece with her œuvre. There are no dashed-off Morrison pieces, no filler novels, no treading water, no exit off the main road. There are eleven novels and one short story, all of which she wrote with specific aims and intentions. It’s hard
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Sunday Reading: A Cultural Review of the Aughts

In the fall of 1999, The New Yorker published a short piece about a twenty-three-year-old writer who had just released her first novel, in England. Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth” was due to be published in the U.S. in the spring of 2000—kicking off the millennium with a bang. “ ‘White Teeth,’ a gentle satire of migration and cultural identity, concerns, among other matters, Nazi eugenics programs, the eschatology of Jehovah’s Witnesses,
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How a Nostalgic Novel About Spain’s Heartland Joined the Political Fray

CAMPO DE CRIPTANA, Spain — In her debut novel, “Feria,” Ana Iris Simón begins with a poignant admission: “I’m jealous of the life that my parents had at my age.”“Feria” is based on her childhood in the arid heartland of Spain, with parents who were postal workers and grandparents who were farmers on one side, traveling fairground workers on the other. Little happens, but that is intentional — she wants
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Weike Wang’s Antisocial Novel, ‘Joan Is Okay’

As Mark gradually weasels his way into Joan’s life, she begins to take notice of her idiosyncrasies from his perspective. Joan hasn’t read the books he thinks are important, but she pretends she has. And she fails to check any of the boxes for what, according to Mark, makes “a true New Yorker,” like having an opinion about the Yankees. When it becomes clear Joan has never heard of “Seinfeld,”
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The Chinese Language Revolution

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | How to ListenJing Tsu’s new book, “Kingdom of Characters,” is about the long and concerted efforts made by linguists, activists and others to adapt Chinese writing to the modern world, so that it could be used in everything from typewriters and telegraphs to artificial intelligence and automation. On this week’s podcast, Tsu talks about that revolution, from its roots to the present