June 2021

In This Issue

Why Confederate lies live on, Black America’s origin stories, Red Cross quarantine ships, Brett Kavanaugh, and new fiction from Morgan Thomas. Plus the Appalachian Elvis, Richard Wright, post-COVID fashion, Stacey Abrams’s fiction, flip phones, and more.

Cover Story

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Illustration: 3 overlapping images of Brett Kavanaugh with different facial expressions (one green, one red, one purple)
Illustration by Oliver Munday; images from Chip Somodevilla; Saul Loeb / AFP; Michael Reynolds / Getty

Is Brett Kavanaugh Out for Revenge?

Three years after his polarizing confirmation hearings, the Supreme Court’s 114th justice remains a mystery.

Italian law enforcement and a group of migrants gathered on the prow of a ship
Paolo Pellegrin / Magnum

Purgatory at Sea

Off the coast of Italy, cruise ships are being repurposed as holding pens for migrants rescued from the Mediterranean.



Culture & Critics

  • Illustration: muscular arms flexing with a round halo shaped like the sun's corona in place of a head
    Illustration by Katie Martin; images from Popperfoto / Getty

    The Dharma of Working Out

    In her new memoir, Alison Bechdel runs, climbs, bikes, skis, spins, and Soloflexes her way toward transcendence.

  • 8 black and white photos in a grid: George Orwell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Hannah Arendt, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Susan Sontag, Jack Kerouac, James Baldwin.
    Popperfoto; Roger-Viollet; Fred Stein Archive; Martha Holmes / Life Picture Collection; Bob Peterson / Life Images Collection; Phillip Harrington / Alamy; Bettmann / Getty

    The Opportunists

    In Louis Menand’s monumental new study of Cold War culture, success owes less to vision and purpose than to self-promotion.



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