The Ties That Bind Jihadists  

Radical Islam has become an entrenched feature of the Middle East. We must try to understand those who embrace it.

The Latest Intellectuals

In an era of one-stop thinking and instant commenting, we've lost the slow work of reflection.


Is the Internet the Final Bohemia?  

The places where intellectuals used to thrive have disappeared, but a new one has arisen.


The Perennial Re-Discovery of the Black Intellectual  

So much of their work is dedicated to insisting that they even exist.


Intellectuals vs. Scholars  

As the audience for academics shrinks, playwrights and comedians have moved to the fore.




Steve Jobs sought to be one with the universe. The catch? He was his universe.


Historians Re-Enter Presidential Studies

Historians want back in to presidential studies.


A Mad Frenzy of Disclosure

The surveillance state needn't reveal us. The vast digital hydra has seduced us into revealing ourselves.


A Wild Music  

A composer-turned-researcher urges ecologists to listen to nature’s chorus.


How Corpses Shape Culture  

In burial, the dead help give meaning to the travails of the living.


Why Two Kids Are Too Many  

Want to save the earth? Maybe birth control is the answer.


An Unevolved View of Gender Evolution

The latest gloss on the evolutionary biology and psychology of gender woefully distorts the research.


Haunted by Spirits

Ghosts of academics haunt a musty private library in Boston.


Don’t Repress the Past

Keep Woodrow Wilson and John C. Calhoun on campus.


Higher Ed Has Always Been a Mess  

That's what makes it great.


Life Lessons  

Five practical concepts to jump-start students' critical-thinking skills.


Cold War's Cool Calculations  

Yes, some writers had secret patrons like the CIA. But who was using whom?


What’s It Called, by What’s Her Name  

I’ve forgotten more books than many people have read. That’s an accomplishment of sorts, right?


When Free Speech Becomes a Political Weapon

All too often, when people depict others as threats to freedom of speech, what they really mean is "Be quiet!"


What Mizzou Taught Me  

I survived most of the racism. But for some of the kids who had been supported by black communities, the University of Missouri started as a dream school and wound up being a waking nightmare.