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  • No Russia collusion, 'nothing to hide,' Kushner tells Senate
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner answered questions from Senate investigators for hours behind closed doors Monday, acknowledging four meetings with Russians during and after Trump's victorious White House bid and insisting he had "nothing to hide." He emerged smiling to publicly dec […]
  • Immigrants wept, pleaded for water and pounded on the truck
    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The tractor-trailer was pitch-black inside, crammed with maybe 90 immigrants or more, and already hot when it left the Texas border town of Laredo for the 150-mile trip north to San Antonio....
  • Israel removes metal detectors from holy site entrance
    JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel began removing metal detectors from entrances to a major Jerusalem shrine early Tuesday morning to defuse a crisis over the site that angered the Muslim world and triggered some of the worst Israeli-Palestinian clashes in years....
  • Tractor-trailer survivor says people cried, asked for water
    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Adan Lara Vega said he was told the $5,500 he was being charged to be smuggled into the United States would include an air-conditioned truck ride....
  • Promising 'A Better Deal,' Democrats try to rebrand party
    BERRYVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Promising "A Better Deal" for American workers, Democratic Party leaders rolled out a new agenda with a populist pitch on Monday aimed at winning back the working-class voters they lost to President Donald Trump in November....
  • Trump says upcoming health vote is GOP's chance to keep vow
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- A peeved President Donald Trump browbeat Republican opponents of his party's reeling health care bill Monday, asserting that his predecessor's signature overhaul has meant "death" and saying the Senate's planned faceoff vote is their chance to keep their pledge to repeal it....
  • "They kept us as slaves": AP reveals claims against church
    SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) -- When Andre Oliveira answered the call to leave his Word of Faith Fellowship congregation in Brazil to move to the mother church in North Carolina at the age of 18, his passport and money were confiscated by church leaders - for safekeeping, he said he was told....
  • Evangelical leaders rally around Kushner amid Russia probe
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Evangelical leaders are rallying around White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner as he meets with congressional leaders investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election....
  • Charlie Gard parents drop legal fight, agree to let him die
    LONDON (AP) -- The parents of Charlie Gard, whose battle to get their critically ill baby experimental treatment stirred international sympathy and controversy, dropped their legal effort Monday, saying tearfully that it was time to let their son die....
  • Trump intensifies criticism of his own attorney general
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump took a remarkable new swipe at his own attorney general on Monday, referring to Jeff Sessions in a tweet as "beleaguered" while privately musing about whether he should fire his longtime ally....

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The Grand Tour

Top Book News provided by The Chronicle of Higher Education©

The New York Review of Books©

  • A Possible Keats
    A year before leaving Enfield—the Georgian-style school building would later be converted into a train station and then ultimately be demolished—John Keats discovered Books. Books were the spoils left by the Incas, by Captain Cook’s voyages, Robinson Crusoe. He went to battle in Lemprière’s dictionary of classical myth, among the reproductions of ancient sculptures and marbles, the annals of Greek fable, in the arms of goddesses.
  • The Nose of the Master
    “Henry James and American Painting,” a compact but wonderfully heterogeneous show at the Morgan Library, includes a comprehensive selection of Jamesian portraits along with other paintings of and by his friends. James liked sitting, and the exhibition includes a round dozen of his many portraits; more probably than have ever been gathered in one place before.
  • The Artist’s Closet
    When I was a senior in high school, I wrote to one of my favorite artists, Maira Kalman, and asked if she had interns and if she'd like one. She said I could come reorganize her moss collection, walk her dog, and meet her mother. It was like peeking behind the curtain and finding the thing you'd both hoped for and dreaded: the actors still perfectly in character.
  • A Test for Consciousness?
    Parks: You can’t prove, scientifically, this idea of experience being buffered or delayed in neural eddies. Manzotti: At this stage, no. Neuroscientists can’t disprove it, or prove that the experience is “generated” in the head. But let’s remember, we do science by forming a hypothesis, making predictions in line with that hypothesis, and inventing experiments that prove or disprove the hypothesis.
  • Hacking the Vote: Who Helped Whom?
    In the waning days of the 2016 campaign Trump’s data team knew exactly which voters in which states they needed to persuade on Facebook and Twitter and precisely what messages to use. The question is: How did the Russians know this, too? Largely ignored in this discussion is one possibility: that the Russians themselves, through their hacking of Democratic Party records, had better information than Trump.
  • An Elusive Cold War Star
    When Van Cliburn died in 2013, he was by far the most famous concert pianist in American history, although he had effectively retired from performance decades before. His had been a strange and complicated life.
  • Birds Like Us
    “Quentin Blake: The Life of Birds,” drawn from the archive held by the House of Illustration in London, is a tiny exhibition, but one of pure, quirky joy. Blake is best known as an illustrator of children’s books, including most of Roald Dahl’s. Oddly, the human traits that Blake illustrates seem clearer and sharper in these birds than in his drawings of people, perhaps because without the human features we see only the revealing shorthand of gesture, expression, and movement.
  • The Making of the Tabloid Presidency
    Joshua Green’s new book, Devil’s Bargain, argues that Trumpism is best understood through the president’s partnership with Stephen K. Bannon, now his chief political strategist. Green has been writing about conservatives since the George W. Bush years. It is a testament to his adroit intertwining of Bannon’s story with Trump’s that we’re not certain which of the two figures has sold the bigger part of himself to the other. In the broader sense, they are coauthors of our moment’s tabloid conservatism.
  • Raphael Up Close
    Although Raphael for much of the last five hundred years has been celebrated as a prince of painters, today he is widely dismissed as no more than a kind of chief courtier: supreme in grace and rhetoric, yet mannered and unnatural, even insincere. But Raphael seems so abstract and remote because we have so little direct contact with him. "Raphael: The Drawings," on view at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, provides a rare chance to see up close a wide array of the artist’s works from throughout his life, and the effect is thrilling and revelatory.
  • Liu Xiaobo: The Man Who Stayed
    Like late-nineteenth-century scholar Tan Sitong, Liu Xiaobo threw his weight behind a cause that in its immediate aftermath seemed hopeless—in Liu's case, the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. But with time, history vindicated Tan; I wonder if it will do the same for Liu.
  • The Passion of Liu Xiaobo
    Liu Xiaobo felt haunted by the “lost souls” of Tiananmen, the aggrieved ghosts of students and workers alike whose ages would forever be the same as on the night they died. His “final statement” at his trial in December 2009 opens: “June 1989 has been the major turning point in my life.” In October 2010, when his wife Liu Xia brought him the news of his Nobel Peace Prize, she reports that he commented, “This is for the aggrieved ghosts.”
  • Waking Up to the Trumpian World
    After months of talk about what it would take to get Trump impeached, analysts are calling this the “smoking gun” that could actually bring his downfall. Why does the occasion feel so momentous (other than because we want it to be)? After all, we learned only that Don Jr. said in confidence roughly the same thing that his father said for all the world to hear. But the news has been as shocking as it has because, after all this time, we still have not learned to take Trump’s public utterances seriously.
  • The Radical Success of Comme des Garçons
    Known for her voluminous, monochromatic, and architectural silhouettes, Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo makes designs that appear to be more concerned with novelty and sparking interest and dialogue than with straightforward attraction or luxury. One gets the sense, wandering the Met and walking the streets of New York City alike, that her label, Comme des Garçons, is one of the few that have built a viable business while truly challenging industry norms.
  • Save Louis Kahn’s Concert Boat!
    Launched in 1976, the ship Point Counterpoint II, designed by Louis Kahn, has travelled America’s rivers, lakes, and intercoastal waterways; the Caribbean, Baltic, and Irish Seas; and the rivers of northern Europe. Anchoring in large cities and small towns, in busy shipping lanes and at public parks, the barge opens like a clamshell to reveal a glittering concert stage. It sails as a powerful, living testament to American creativity and to the elemental role that culture plays in human life. Yet unless a new guardian is found for it, this remarkable, mobile cultural institution will be broken down to scrap in a Louisiana shipyard.
  • Shakespeare’s Pornography of Power
    Measure for Measure invites updating, but it’s in the nature of the work that whatever contemporary analogies are invoked cannot quite make sense of what happens. The play is a perpetual questioning machine, exquisitely functional, set to a relentless tempo, yet a machine that bristles and crackles in its joints with contradiction and discomfort.
  • The Class Renegade
    Those of us who move from the provinces pay a toll at the city’s gate, a toll that is doubled in the years that follow as we try to find a balance between what was so briskly discarded and what was so carefully, hesitantly, slyly put in its place. More than thirty years ago, when I was in Egypt, I met a cultivated English couple who invited me to stay in their house in London on my way back to Ireland. They could not have been more charming. The only problem was that they had an Irish maid who, as soon as I arrived as their guest, began to talk to me in the unvarnished accent of home, as though she had known me all of her life.
  • The Perennial Student
    What is a shadow? Nothing in itself, you might say: a mere local lack of light, in a space that is otherwise lit up. Light, which allows us to see and know the world, is the normal precondition for picturing things. Cast shadows may help us interpret a picture by indicating where light comes from and where objects stand, but if you survey art history, you find the majority of painters giving them minor parts at most. A minority, however, turns these assumptions upside down, treating shadow as the preexistent condition and light as its shock interruption.
  • South Korea’s Real Fear
    The primary worry in South Korea has not been its bizarre and militaristic neighbor to the north; most Koreans are by now long used to living within close firing range of Pyongyang and do not think it will attack unless provoked. What really worries them is that the new US president doesn’t know the complexity of the situation—and is too contemptuous of the State Department to be instructed. 
  • The Snake in the Schoolhouse
    Don Siegel's 1971 The Beguiled, starring Clint Eastwood, is a masterpiece of misogyny. Sofia Coppola has remade it, and where Siegel’s Beguiled was an expression of male hysteria, Coppola’s version is a dark comedy of manners. In Siegel’s movie the women are vivid types; in Coppola’s they are humanized.
  • Macron’s California Revolution
    Among the many ideas put forward by Emmanuel Macron, the new French president, was to institute an annual speech to the French parliament, a sort of State of the Union à la française. He also introduced a raft of bold proposals for streamlining government. But even bolder than his proposals was the speech itself, and the American-style executive it seemed to usher in.
  • America On Two Wheels
    Comics lend themselves to representing the experience of cycling: the flatness of the bird’s-eye-view map set in contrast to the scene-by-scene illustrations of Eleanor Davis’s daily experience biking from Arizona to Georgia. We are pulled into Davis’s perspective, seeing from her position on the road as well as from a close third-person view as if slightly above.
  • Iraq: The Battle to Come
    ISIS’s military defeat, which Western officials believe will come sometime later this year or early next, will hardly put an end to the conflicts that gave rise to the group. For much of the battle against ISIS has taken place in a region that has been fought over ever since oil was found in Kirkuk in the 1930s. The deeper conflicts here will only escalate.
  • Tigers, Horses, and Stripes
    Ellen Berkenblit’s striking new paintings at Anton Kern Gallery are a riot of luminous colors. Each layer of paint reveals shapes and colors, both painted and sewn, as if simultaneously pre-existent and made anew. In other works, the layers within Berkenblit’s paintings seem to display the history of their own making.
  • The Brave New World of Gene Editing
    In recent years, two new genetic technologies have started a scientific and medical revolution. One, relatively well known, is the ability to easily decode the information in our genes. The other, which is only dimly understood by the general public, is our newfound capacity to modify genes at will. These innovations give us the power to predict certain risks to our health, eliminate deadly diseases, and ultimately transform ourselves and the whole of nature. This development raises complex and urgent questions about the kind of society we want and who we really are. A brave new world is just around the corner, and we had better be ready for it or things could go horribly wrong.
  • Myth-Maker of the Brothel
    Of all the masters of the woodblock print in the Edo Period, Utamaro has the most colorful reputation. Hokusai was perhaps the greatest draughtsman, Hiroshige excelled in landscapes, and Kuniyoshi had the wildest theatrical flair. Utamaro (1753–1806), whose work is featured in an exhibition at the Sackler Gallery, was the lover of women.
  • How Far Will the Court Go?
    The travel ban won’t be the only big case before the Court next term. It's a heady line up, and the news that Justice Anthony Kennedy will not retire—at a time when, given the Oval Office’s current occupant, the judiciary’s check on the executive branch is more essential than ever—is important.
  • The Nineteenth-Century Trump
    Donald Trump has often been likened to Andrew Jackson; this is welcomed and encouraged by Trump himself. An important parallel between Trump and Jackson lies in their efforts to reshape the political organizations of their time, though Trump does not seem to have Jackson’s knack for political decision-making. The most important parallel between Trump and Jackson lies in their rallying the white working class against ethnic minorities.
  • Romania: On the Border of the Real
    The image of an interior shattered by outside forces could be the emblem for all Cristian Mungiu’s films. He loves to present stories in which someone’s integrity is assailed by external influences, and Graduation offers one of his most melancholy contraptions for testing his characters’ limitations.

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