'A Universe of Totally Disparate Intentions'

I tried to explain some in comments on Friday what I mean by calling the city a "problem."  I think E.L. Doctorow does a much better job of it below, and Ric Burns' New York (from which this clip is taken) is a tour de force in the city as a "problem." I'll say no more so as not to ruin it. Doctorow is my favorite novelists, and a literary hero of mine. He just kills it in this clip.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus


A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.


'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.


What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

From This Author

Just In