BOOKS
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

New York Review: The Blog (Preview)

The New York Review of Books, our content partner, Is teasing its new site by giving us a peek at their brand new blog section today. As usual it is filled with fabulous authors and great thinkers: Charles Rosen, Martin Filler, Jonathan Freedland, Jonathan Raban, Stephen Greenblatt, Istvan Deak, Perry Link, Garry Wills, and Ronald Dworkin. Read excerpts from their pieces below, and see what Arianna has to say about this new venture here.

The Lost Pleasure of Browsing, Charles Rosen

I have read that more books in the United States are now sold online than in bookstores, and have noticed -- and assume a causal connection -- that there are less books on the shelves of stores. Since I almost never want to buy a book until I have held it in my hands and riffled through the pages, this means that I shall be purchasing fewer books in the future. Just as well, I suppose, as there is no space on my shelves. Read More


Quagmire at Ground Zero
, Martin Filler

The newly postponed completion dates for New York City's beleaguered and laggard World Trade Center reconstruction project have an unexpected but telling parallel in Bernard Tschumi's much-delayed New Acropolis Museum in Athens. Read More

Obama's Nobel: It Makes Sense in Norway, Jonathan Freedland

Over the last few days a consensus has formed, on both the left and the right, that awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama was too much, too soon. Even the President's warmest admirers were embarrassed by the honor's prematurity, while his domestic critics seized on it much the way they had reacted to the international adulation Obama received as a candidate, when, for example, he brought more than 200,000 people onto the streets of Berlin: they saw it as evidence both of the wide-eyed, teenybopper crush foreigners have on Obama and, somehow, of the President's own hubris. But on closer examination, the award is not the stunning surprise it first seemed. And, at least from the point of view of those who gave it, it's not so daft either. Read More

In Bovary Country, Jonathan Raban

Yonville l'Abbaye, literature's capital of provincial conformity, cliches, and idees recues, was said by Flaubert to be "a place that does not exist." But ever since Maxime du Camp, Flaubert's friend and traveling companion, told the world that the germ of Madame Bovary was the scandalous death by suicide of Delphine Delamare, wife of the officer of health in the small market town of Ry, fiction and fact, Yonville and Ry, have become inseparably entwined. Read More

Burlusconi: A Reversal of Direction, Stephen Greenblatt

Italy is the great country for reversing direction. That is perhaps why there have been sixty-two different governments since the Second World War -- at least until the current prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, figured out that if he and his family owned most of the media, along with sports teams and other key segments of the public sphere, he could bring Inversioni de Marcia to a halt. Read More

Slovakia: The Forbidden Languages, Istvan Deak

On September 1, the Slovak parliament made it largely illegal for its citizens to use any language other than Slovak. The use of minority languages in "official" situations is now punishable by fines of up to 5,000 (US $7,270). Read More

China at 60: Who Owns the Guns, Perry Link

The most striking feature of China's October 1 celebration of sixty years of Communist rule was the spectacular and tightly choreographed military parade in the center of Beijing. The display of crass militarism -- paralleled only by parades in Pyongyang or, a few years ago, Moscow -- cannot have done much for China's image around the world, but China's rulers may not have cared about that or even been aware of it. Read More

The New American Hysteria, Garry Wills

The hysteria shown at town hall meetings this summer is simply the tip of an outpouring of organized hostility to government that is unparalleled in our history. Read More

Keep Corporations Out of Televised Politics, Ronald Dworkin

We know that the Supreme Court's decision in the pending Hillary: The Movie case, argued in a special early hearing before the Supreme Court on September 9, will be bad for democracy. We don't yet know how bad it will be. Read More

Filed by: Jessie Kunhardt