Arts & Letters

TAC Bookshelf for the Week of January 15

David Ignatius, Truman Capote, Howard Mansfield, and more.

What Would Christopher Hitchens Say?

Amid the noxious atmosphere of Twitter, the late scribe looks like the last public intellectual of our times.

Whiplash! A Family Tree of the Conservative Movement

Longtime strategist offers anecdotal tour of the most important campaigns in recent GOP history.

Rudolf’s Sad Descent and the Habsburg Fall

Things might have turned out differently had he not ended his life that winter morning in 1889.

The Petrograd Crime Wave That Helped Create the Soviet Union

A post-tsar spate of murders enabled the rise of the Bolsheviks. Today, it underscores the failures of the Russian Revolution.

Out of the Shire: Life Beyond Tolkien

Has authentic romanticism in literature peaked?

“Mark Felt Was Not Deep Throat”

Son of Watergate-era FBI Chief says new movie is typical Hollywood revisionism.

MORE IN Arts & Letters

A Probing New Look at the Real McKinley

An underrated president emerges from the Roosevelts’ shadow

Beyond Ken Burns, a Deeply Moral, Personal Vietnam

Quasi-memoir by former congressman is set deep in domestic conflict.

Redeeming the Debauched Falstaff

Do not moralize—there is a little of Shakespeare’s ‘Fat Knight’ in all of us.

Ezra Pound, Locked Away

The famous poet was committed to a mental hospital. His fascist views were odious, but were they really insane?

The Witty, Wistful Films of Whit Stillman

His work lightheartedly catalogued the story of the human condition.

‘Who Goes Nazi’ Now?

Dorothy Thompson’s 1941 paranoid ‘parlor game’ just as (un) useful today.

Kennedy’s Forgotten Coalition: Working Class Catholics

After decades of Democratic fealty, JFK’s “tribal benediction” went Trump.

How Chicago Made the ‘Great West’

The city’s history shows that the urban-rural divide is a dangerous fiction.

The American Mind: Closed After All These Years

Three decades later, Allan Bloom’s damning critique still relevant

Poetry? What for?

It is a communal form of inquiry directed towards discovering universal truths.