European History

Why Arendt Matters

Saturday, October 14, marks the centennial of the birth of Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), the German-born political philosopher whose analysis of the nature of power, totalitarianism, and the “banality of evil” still resonates powerfully in our own time. “So it is no accident,” says Edward Rothstein in the New York Times,

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Set in Stone

Roberta Smith reviewed “Set in Stone: The Medieval Face in Sculpture” in the New York Times today. The exhibit is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and will run until February 18, 2007. From the review: “Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture” is one of

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The Worst of Evils

“Pain is such an uncomfortable feeling that even a tiny amount of it is enough to ruin every enjoyment.”—Will Rogers In a world where more and more people are voluntarily “going under the knife,” it is hard to imagine a time when anesthesia was frowned upon. In the late nineteenth

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Americans in Paris

“When today we look for ‘American art’ we find it mainly in Paris. When we find it out of Paris, we at least find a good deal of Paris in it.” —Henry James, 1887 Over 100 masterpieces including Whistler’s Mother and Sargent’s Madame X are now on display in the

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“The Recording Angel” Named One of 50 Greatest Music Books Ever

The Observer Music Monthly has just released its list of the 50 greatest music books ever, formed through consultation with its world-class music experts and readers. Included prominently on the list is Evan Eisenberg’s The Recording Angel: Music, Records and Culture from Aristotle to Zappa, with the following description: “How

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Palladio’s Rome

“With [Thomas] Jefferson I conversed at length on the subject of architecture — Palladio, he said, ‘was the Bible — you should get it and stick close to it.’” – Colonel Isaac A. Coles, 1816 Andrea di Pietro della Gondola (1508-1580)–better known by the name Palladio, after the Greek goddess

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Karl Kraus: Apocalyptic Satirist

“The secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so that they believe they are as clever as he.” – Karl Kraus If you’ve never heard of Karl Kraus, the Austrian satirist who inflicted withering and witty critiques on the mass media, the military-industrial complex,

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Proustmania

The Summer issue of BookForum features a number of new titles on Marcel Proust, including two by the acclaimed Proust biographer William C. Carter, whose Marcel Proust: A Life was named a New York Times Notable Book in 2000. Carter’s new Proust in Love portrays Proust’s amorous adventures and misadventures

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Memorial Day

On Monday, May 29, Americans will observe Memorial Day, commemorating the U.S. men and women whose lives were lost, and continue to be lost, in military service for their country. The day marks a fitting occasion to look back at the wars which have defined our nation’s history and the

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June 1941: Hitler and Stalin

“Does anybody really need to read another book about Hitler or Stalin?” asks Tim Rutten in the Los Angeles Times.”If you think not, spend a few engrossingly profitable hours with John Lukacs’ new book, June 1941, and you’ll be reminded that the one thing history does not admit is a

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