The New Yorker

Articles from Vol. 79, No. 29, 2003

American Writers
Alfred Kazin's America, edited by Ted Solotaroff (HarperCollins; $29.95). The literary critic Alfred Kazin chose America as his subject, and his intellectual awakening is itself something of an American legend. As a young man during the Depression, in...
Chicken-Soup Nation Annals of Publishing
In the fall of 1991, one of the book proposals being shopped around New York was a big sheaf of materials from a young literary agent named Jeffrey Herman, who was specializing in popular business books. Herman had already represented some reasonably...
Cultural Gas the Theatre
"Rhubarb," it says in my dictionary of slang, is Second World War vernacular for a "low-level strafing mission." So it's no coincidence that the curtain rises on Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros's witty, pugnacious play "Omnium Gatherum"...
Darkness Visible on Photography
The atomic bomb set off in the Nevada desert on June 4, 1953, a little over sixty miles from Las Vegas, was code-named Climax. It was dropped from an airplane and detonated 1,334 feet above the desert floor. Rockets fired from the ground just before...
Feats of Clay the Art World
Ken Price, a veteran West Coast artist who is not nearly as well known in New York as he should be, is a ceramist and sculptor. His current show, at Matthew Marks, may be the most purely pleasurable in town, and one that affords a chance to think seriously...
Finding Augie March Books
We tend to think of young artists as a wild and crazy bunch, but often they are the opposite--depressed, grouchy people who sit around wondering why all those older artists are getting the grants and the contracts. Their work bespeaks their mood. They...
GEORGE PLIMPTON POSTSCRIPT Series: 4/5
A few weeks before entering the ring at Stillman's Gym against Archie (the Mongoose) Moore, George Plimpton ordered a "wildcat" drink called Crashweight Formula #7. Plimpton would need whatever bulking up he could get in order to survive the rough attentions...
Justin's
31 W. 21st St. (212-352-0599)--There is circumstantial evidence that the party promoter turned rapper turned self-promoter Sean (Puffy) Combs opened his Flatiron-district restaurant several years ago to satisfy his need for good soul food on demand:...
LAWYER WALKS INTO A BAR SHOWTIME Series: 3/5
The New Jersey Law Journal, one of America's oldest legal newspapers, published its first issue in 1878, with the following boast: "But if our State is a small part of the nation, she has a judiciary known and honored abroad, and at her Bar are practising...
Now Paging
So Many Books, So Little Time: a year of passionate reading (Putnam), by Sara Nelson, takes as its title the exasperated cry of literary professionals everywhere, a cry that is echoed by the nearly simultaneous publication of the almost identically titled...
PACE YOURSELF THE STUMP Series: 2/5
For those not lucky enough to have tickets to last Thursday's Democratic debate at Pace University, downtown, the place to be was not the so-called spin room--a gigantic basement gymnasium hastily equipped to accommodate four hundred media reps bent...
Rites of Passage
The five intriguing works featured in "Klezmer Concertos and Encores," one of the first compact disks released under the auspices of the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music (a vast project conceived by the philanthropist Lowell Milken and distributed...
Smart Money Books
Stock markets can be puzzling things. Earlier this year, Wall Street analysts were complaining that uncertainty about Iraq was preventing a sustained rally. On Wednesday, April 9th, when the Marines entered downtown Baghdad and toppled a statue of Saddam...
SOLO ACT COMMENT Series: 1/5
Last week, President Bush came to New York to make his case--if one can call it that--for international cooperation. At the opening of the annual meeting of the United Nations' General Assembly, Bush spoke of the need for countries to combat collectively...
THE COUP DE GRASSO THE FINANCIAL PAGE Series: 5/5
At the end of your typical Horatio Alger novel, the plucky hero, having risen from the streets, is allowed to bask in his good fortune. He's celebrated, not vilified, for the prosperity he has gained. So Dick Grasso, the former chairman of the New York...
The End Matter Books
It is 2:30 a.m. of a Monday, spring semester, 1983. Things are looking extremely good. Forty-eight hours of high-intensity stack work and some inspired typing have produced the thirty-page final paper for Modern European History (Mr. Blague, MW 9-10)...
The Listener Profiles
In July, at the Petunia Festival Parade in Dixon, Illinois, on a street near Ronald Reagan's boyhood home, which is now a lovingly groomed national historic site, a parade-goer named John S. Allen threw a water balloon at an antique fire engine that...
The Very Bad Review Literary Lives
If you were John Keats, and, in the revered Quarterly Review, John Wilson Croker published his opinion that your poetry was "unintelligible," "diffuse," "tiresome," and "absurd," it would not comfort you much to remember that a bad review can happen...
Unhappy Trails the Current Cinema
You can tell what a fine movie "The Station Agent" is from some of the noble institutions that are thanked in the final credits: Barry's Luncheonette, Good-to-Go Deli, and the inspiring Lunacy Beer. This was clearly a well-fed operation, and one that...
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