The New Yorker

Articles from Vol. 85, No. 10, 2009

A Roosevelt Reading List
About a year and a half ago, Harriet Shapiro, who is the head of exhibitions at the New York Society Library, was, in the manner of modern-day researchers everywhere, randomly Googling--looking for information about Marion King, the institution's longtime...
Chopin List
Is there a composer who blends shadow and substance as unforgettably as Chopin? The music invades our soul but also stands apart with an aristocratic reserve; the melodies quiver with sensitivity but arise from an intricate web of counterpoint that emulates...
Clowns of Catastrophe
I have seen actors walk off the set. I have seen audiences walk out of the theatre. But not until Christopher Durang's "Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them" (at the Public) have I seen a playwright walk out on his own play. "I don't like...
Enameled Lady
New York, after the war. A young writer--more of a hustler, really--named P. B. Jones attends a publishing party full of artists and literary types. There he meets an older, established author he has long admired named Alice Lee Langman; he eventually...
From Venice to Varanasi
Walter Benjamin once said that every great work dissolves a genre or founds a new one. But is it only masterpieces that have a monopoly on novelty? What if a writer had written several works that rose to Benjamin's high definition, not all great, perhaps,...
Guy Walks into a Bar Car
In the golden age of American travel, the platforms of train stations were knee deep in what looked like fog. You see it all the time in black-and-white movies, these low-lying eddies of silver. I always thought it was steam from the engines, but now...
Hanging Tough
In the late nineteen-twenties, two companies--Kellogg and Post--dominated the market for packaged cereal. It was still a relatively new market: ready-to-eat cereal had been around for decades, but Americans didn't see it as a real alternative to oatmeal...
Living on the Radio
One way to understand social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace is to consider that younger digital natives are not necessarily being exhibitionists when they post photographs of themselves and share personal details there. Instead, these users...
No Nukes
There is no madness like nuclear madness. That was the conceit of the Cold War's greatest comedy, "Dr. Strangelove," and it was the conceit of North Korea's recent rocket-launch extravaganza. By testing a missile that might one day be able to reach Alaska,...
Rock Solid
The most stirring release of the year thus far is a documentary. No surprise in that, given the current state of feature films, or in the fact that "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" is a documentary about a heavy-metal band. But this film is about a failed...
Roughing It
Late on the evening of July 27, 1916, after a five-day journey culminating in a twelve-hour train ride across the Continental Divide, Rosamond Underwood and Dorothy Woodruff arrived at the depot in Hayden, Colorado. They had been hired to teach at the...
Swamp Things
Just before daybreak, in the eerie hour after Hurricane Andrew struck southern Florida, a zoo worker named Ron Magill went to see what was left of his animals. He'd spent the night in his ranch house in suburban Miami, huddled in the master bedroom with...
The Comeback
Vincent Cincotta--a.k.a. Jimmy the Peddler--was in the running to win the N.C.A.A. men's-basketball-tournament pool last week at his local watering hole, the Cafe on Clinton, in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn. What's significant about the Cafe on...
The Ghost Course
In 2005, a Scottish golf-course consultant named Gordon Irvine took a fishing trip to South Uist, a sparsely populated island in the Outer Hebrides, fifty miles off Scotland's west coast. South Uist (pronounced YEW-ist) is about the size of Martha's...
The Tweets of Roland Hedley
The following is an unedited transcript of the complete G-20 Summit coverage of Roland Hedley, senior Twitter correspondent for Fox News, who appears regularly in "Doonesbury":At Dulles, on way to London for G-20 Summit. In taxi to airport, practiced...
The Vertical Tourist
February 17, 2009, 1:10 P.M. As the thousands of bankers, consultants, and accountants who work in the Cheung Kong Center, a sixty-two-story office tower in Hong Kong's central business district, returned from their lunch breaks, a slight Frenchman named...
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