Arts & Letters

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Should Higher Education Have a Leftist Bias?

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

Hugh Jackman as The Man, Laura Donnelly as The Other Woman in THE RIVER, a new play by Jez Butterworth, directed by Ian Rickson, at Circle in the Square Theatre (50th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue).
© Richard Termine

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?

Leo Strauss: Hawk or Dove?

Leo Strauss: Man of Peace, Robert Howse, Cambridge University Press, 200 pages

Secularists vs. Providentialists

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

Is There a Christian Way to Be Gay?

Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith, Eve Tushnet, Ave Maria Press, 224 pages

Marilynne Robinson Returns to Gilead

Lila: A Novel, Marilynne Robinson, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 272 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

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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.

The Human Face a Furnace Seal’d: John Darnielle’s Wolf in White Van

The new novel from the man behind the Mountain Goats suggests that the mind is a dangerous playground.

Occupy Edmund Burke

David Bromwich presents a view from the left of the statesman widely seen as conservatism’s founder.

“Interstellar”: Leaving the Earth Behind

Though thought-provoking, Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” falls short of true greatness.