It will be forthcoming…in oblivion

By: Wednesday November 20, 2013 1:30 am

One could say better late than never.


“12 Years a Slave” and the Tangled History of the Slavery Film

By: Wednesday October 16, 2013 5:40 pm

The obvious comparison for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, given their similar Oscar-bait pedigrees and chronological proximity, is to Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Both tackle the subject of slavery, both return the national gaze to our most tragic and indefensible moment, and both emphasize, in particular, the horrors of the lash of involuntary servitude. And yet, the differences between Tarantino and McQueen’s films illustrate the particular nature of McQueen’s triumph.

Our Twisted Politics of Grief

By: Tuesday May 28, 2013 5:25 pm

Darwin observed that conscience is what most distinguishes humans from other animals. If so, grief isn’t far behind. Realms of anguish are deeply personal—yet prone to expropriation for public use, especially in this era of media hyper-spin. Narratives often thresh personal sorrow into political hay. More than ever, with grief marketed as a civic commodity, the personal is the politicized.

The Danger of Analogizing About Politics and Compromise from “Lincoln”

By: Monday November 26, 2012 1:23 pm

And now, here’s my entry in the “Why the movie Lincoln is not a plausible model for political debates of the recent past and future.”

Why the Arkansas Primary Challenge Was Worth It

By: Friday June 11, 2010 4:30 pm

Arkansas was a loss, but the effort was worth it for the ripples it created and its potential as a model for the future. [I can talk about a lot of these issues in my 5:00 PM EST Sunday FDL book salon conversation on my Soul of a Citizen book]

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Adam Gopnik – Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life

By: Saturday May 23, 2009 2:00 pm

Whether by Providence or a random swerve of the atoms, it happened that Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin both were born on February 12, 1809. The bicentennial of this pregnant coincidence is the occasion for Adam Gopnik’s Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life. The title alludes to a resonant ambiguity over just what Edwin Stanton said at the president’s deathbed in 1865. Did his secretary of war commend Lincoln “to the angels” or “to the ages”? To whatever remained of the old hierarchical cosmos, or to the record of great but strictly human endeavor?

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