News about Books and Literature, including commentary and archival articles published…

Stephen F. Cohen, Influential Historian of Russia, Dies at 81

Stephen F. Cohen, an eminent historian whose books and commentaries on Russia examined the rise and fall of Communism, Kremlin dictatorships and the emergence of a post-Soviet nation still struggling for identity in the 21st century, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 81. His wife, Katrina vanden Heuvel, the publisher and part owner of The Nation, […]

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Letters to the Editor

Humanizing To the Editor: Thanks for the insightful set of reviews on white supremacy in America in your Sept. 6 issue: Jon Meacham’s historical essay on Southern white intellectuals such as Edward Alfred Pollard and David W. Blight, Walter Isaacson’s review of Edward Ball’s “Life of a Klansman” and Susan Neiman’s review of Seyward Darby’s “Sisters in Hate.” These reviews […]

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Worried mum writes kid's book to encourage Black children to eat more healthily

A green-fingered mum determined to teach kids about the power of fruit and veg has written a children’s book to educate them on the benefits of healthy eating. Selina Brown, from Birmingham, wrote and self-published children’s book, Nena: The Green Juice, while looking after her two-year-old daughter during lockdown. The idea for the self-funded book came after noticing how her daughter, […]

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Why doesn't new biography explore Lucian Freud's priapic excesses?

He had an insatiable appetite for lovers, but cast them aside when he tired of them… So why is a new biography reluctant to explore the painter Lucian Freud’s priapic excesses? The Lives of Lucian Freud: Fame, 1968-2011, is by William Feaver and costs £35 This second volume covers the workaholic half of Freud’s life But there is very little […]

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George Orwell’s cryptic nod to OWN family in 1984’s dystopia unravels novel’s real aim

Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel examining the consequences of government overreach. The story takes place in an imagined future when the world has fallen victim to perpetual war and Britain has become a province of a totalitarian superstate, named Oceania. Its success popularised the term “Orwellian” as an adjective that is still used today in […]

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'I didn't sleep with everyone…I wouldn't have had time to paint!'

‘I didn’t sleep with everyone…I wouldn’t have had time to paint!’ The words of one member of the artsy Hampstead set who were in and out of each others’ beds in the 1930s – when they weren’t playing nude cricket! Sculptor Barbara Hepworth and painter Ben Nicholson fell passionately in love Neither of them seemed particularly concerned about their respective […]

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