Arts & Letters

Adam Smith / Wikimedia Commons

How Socialism Fails

James Otteson dissects the moral and economic contradictions of collectivism.


Feeling Down on “Inside Out”

The new Pixar film is poignant—and didactic.

A scene from Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Look of Silence. Courtesy of Drafthouse Films and Participant Media.

The Truth Without Reconciliation Committee

A sequel to 2012’s death-squad documentary “The Act of Killing” lets survivors and victims’ families have their say.

Sam Philips  Ian Mutto / Flickr

Indie Music’s Christ-Haunted Women

Filling out the ramshackle choir loft of Sufjan Stevens and the Mountain Goats, beyond Sinead O’Connor.

"Beat the Champ" by the Mountain Goats

Pro Wrestling (With Angels)

A new album by the Mountain Goats explores rage, memory, masked heroes of the ring, and the unexpected Sunset Flip.

HBO; a White Walker

‘Game of Thrones’ Between Two Battles

“Blackwater” and “Hardhome” mark the transition of the HBO show from domestic politics to an existential peril.

C.K. Scott Moncrieff /  Wikimedia Commons

Proust’s English Voice

Behind great literature there is often a great translator.

MORE IN Arts & Letters

Blinded by the ‘Red Scare’

Laughing away communism’s very real historical threats allows today’s dangerous extremisms to escape cultural notice.

Harold Bloom’s American Sublime

The famed critic’s penultimate book personally exults in the New World’s openness to the literary “daemon.”

Books to Save Your Soul

From Dante’s Divine Comedy to two new memoirs of faith

Happy 750th Birthday, Dante

In his homeland, Dante is still a rock star

The Undying Appeal of Mortal Love

“The Age of Adaline” puts a human face on immortality, and captures the joy of finding someone with whom one can grow old.

Tom Stoppard Plays With God

London’s National Theatre stages a philosophy of mind debate that seeks more than the God of the Gaps.

Love and Marriage in “The Madding Crowd”

Considering a new film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel

Against Kant and Consumerism

Matthew Crawford targets virtual reality and the epistemological frauds we’ve believed since the Enlightenment.

David Axelrod’s Multiethnic Machine

Obama’s political guru frankly fused liberal idealism with urban transactional politics.

Love’s Triumph, Love’s Tragedy

A passionate production of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore from Red Bull Theater in New York.