A new history of Orientalism reveals the vagary and variety of the field—and the danger of declaring any area of inquiry off-limits.
In 1956, the British stumbled in Suez, and the Soviets crushed the Hungarian uprising—revealing the fatal flaws of modern empire.
The steely resolve of Andrew Carnegie
What Algeria’s past can—and can’t—tell us about the present day
The exceptional insouciance of Jessica Mitford
What Kennedy magic?
Under the caked muck of theocracy in today’s Iran, ancient and lovely literary springs still bubble
John Updike’s latest novel reveals his tin ear for critical times
A new manifesto finds a model in the Truman era for returning liberals to political centrality in America. But the comparison is hopelessly inexact
Ian Fleming, the man behind James Bond, was a sadist, a narcissist, and an all-around repressed pervert. But he also saw past the confines of the Cold War
A new book by the West’s most influential Marxist shows him to be both “the most profound essayist wielding a pen” and on the wrong side of history
An adroit new history of the British Empire in the post-Victorian era
Fifty years ago Vladimir Nabokov published his most notorious novel. Its ravishing effects can still be felt
Probably nothing afforded Ben Franklin as much pleasure as the applause and income he received from people who didn't know he was kidding
In his victory over the French and the Spanish, Admiral Horatio Nelson's biggest guns were the Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism
The situation in horrible, magical modern Kashmir—where East battles East in a war that fuses the psychopathic and the apocalyptic—defies political analysis. But Salman Rushdie's new novel captures it as nothing else can
"I wasn't even bothering whether I understood what I was saying," T. S. Eliot said of The Waste Land. A new guide to the poem inadvertently suggests we should take him at his word
No, he was not Byron. But he certainly tried