I wish Obama had gone to Ferguson and issued a stinging critique of the Grand Jury. I wish he'd raised hell after the killing of Trayvon Martin. I wish he'd make endemic racial inequality the centerpiece of his final years in office. But that Obama has never been.
The change in the function of the magazine is yet another example of a fate that has been infecting most humanistic institutions in this country: quantity is being substituted for quality and fateful decisions are being made on the basis of uninformed majority opinion.
The 50 Year Argument, a literary documentary on The New York Review of Books directed by Martin Scorsese, available through HBO, is not necessarily the tour de force that only pats the intellectual echelon on its cashmere-and-tweed-backs, which some may expect.