Arts & Letters

photo by Warner Bros. Entertainment

The Controversial Chris Kyle

“American Sniper” could never have dodged the contentious politics of the war or the troubled hero it portrays.

Photographer: Sgt Russ Nolan RLC © Crown Copyright 2012

Britain’s Guardians of Afghanistan

The Welsh Guards patrolled the Afghan war’s twilight hours, overstretched, underequipped, and committed to their mission.

Still of Sheila Vand in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night © 2014 - Kino Lorber

This Town Is Dead at Night

An Iranian-Californian vampire flick lives up to the hype.

University of Chicago

Leo Strauss: Hawk or Dove?

A new biography paints Strauss as a liberal internationalist, neglecting the role of Zionism in his thought and life.

Oleg Krugliak / Shutterstock

The American Conservative’s Christmas Reading

Our writers on the best books of 2014, personal favorites, and bibliophiles’ suggestions for Santa.

Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night © 2014 - Sundance Selects

Will Work for Meaning: “Two Days, One Night”

A woman has one weekend to beg for her job in the Dardenne brothers’ harrowing new film.

Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock

Should Higher Education Have a Leftist Bias?

A socialist professor defends liberal education from capitalism, unthinking conservatism, and his critics.

MORE IN Arts & Letters

A Man and a Woman Are One. A Man a Woman and a Sea Trout Are One.

The River seduces the audience at Circle in the Square in New York – but to what object?

Secularists vs. Providentialists

The Rise and Decline of American Religious Freedom, Steven D. Smith, Harvard University Press, 240 pages

America at 78 r.p.m.

Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78 rpm Records, Amanda Petrusich, Scribner, 272 pages

The High Life in Letters

This article from the January/February issue hasn’t yet been published online. For …

Defending “Lila”

What Marilynne Robinson’s newest novel has to say about grace

Keeping It Real

Tom Stoppard’s most accessible, “realistic” play turns out to have much in common with his early, postmodern works.

The Mother and the Monster: “The Babadook”

Something under the bed is sobbing.

Another Year of Reading

The best books I’ve read in 2014

The Dead Hand of the Past: “Bad Jews” at the Studio Theatre

Joshua Harmon’s ferocious comedy, in which a family heirloom stands in for the future of the Jewish people.

Tony Kushner’s Communist Turducken

This overstuffed production shows a suicidal longshoreman fighting his family—and the long defeat of his hopes.