The Orphanage

Last month, Yale University Press published The Orphanage by Serhiy Zhadan, translated from the Ukrainian by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler.  Recalling the brutal landscape of The Road and the wartime storytelling of A Farewell to Arms, The Orphanage is a searing novel that excavates the human collateral damage wrought by the ongoing conflict

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George Eliot vs. Shakespeare’s Empathetic Imagination

Paula Marantz Cohen— Before I ever read Shakespeare, I read George Eliot. I was inspired to study Victorian literature by George Eliot’s novel, Middlemarch. I love all Eliot’s work, and I especially love Middlemarch. Yet I want to argue with the general belief that Eliot is a hugely empathetic writer. Eliot shows a

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Police Before “The Police”

Sal Nicolazzo— In his Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue, and Arms—the precursor to The Wealth of Nations—Adam Smith defines “the objects of police” as “the cheapness of commodities, public security and cleanliness.” This broad mandate for “police”—most of which has little or nothing to do with crime prevention—may sound idiosyncratic to

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Brexit as a British State of Mind

Vernon Bogdanor— Is Britain part of Europe? Of course, geographically we certainly are part of Europe. But politically? The answer is by no means clear. Britain has long had an ambivalent relationship with the Continent. It is apparent even in the way that we speak. We speak of entering Europe

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A Secular Miracle

Peter E. Gordon— In 1770, the empress Maria Theresa summoned to the Viennese court an imperial counselor named Wolfgang von Kempelen, a man from the Hungarian city of Pressburg who was already well esteemed for his services to the state. In an era when the German language was displacing Latin

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The Zionist Revolution

Micah Goodman— Modernity burst onto the stage of history some three hundred years ago, when free thinkers of all stripes—philosophers, revolutionaries, political leaders—struck blow after blow at the traditions of the past. They strove for a future in which humanity would slough off the heavy burdens of history, including the

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Inside an Impounded Brooklyn Slave Ship with Walt Whitman

John Harris— The United States played a crucial role in the slave trade after 1850, when Brazil effectively sealed its shores to the traffic. Forced to rethink their operations, a small number of slave traders from around the Atlantic world descended on the United States, incorporating American ports directly into

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Constitutional Leadership and Responsibility

Steven B. Smith— The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump ended in an acquittal by a vote of 57-43. Democrats could take some comfort in the fact that it was the largest bipartisan vote in any impeachment trial, although it was a virtually foregone conclusion that they would fail to

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Enduring Dispossession in Indonesia

Christian Lund— In 2013, my friend Oji and I were talking to a group of villagers not far from Garut, in West Java. The land around had been the object of dispute and struggle for generations. It had been taken over from Javanese nobility and peasants by Dutch planters in

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