Public Intellectual Deathmatch: Ta-Nehisi Coates & Jonathan Chait

Brendan O'Connor · 03/29/14 04:51PM

Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic and Jonathan Chait of New York have, over the past week, been engaged in something equal parts duel and duet in the pixels of their respective magazine's websites. Their debate has plumbed the depths of race and racism in America, working out the questions of civic and historical responsibility in a public forum with respect and grace. As readers and citizens we are privileged to bear witness to this dialogue. They've also thrown some damn good shade at each other, so let's look at that.

Eric Hobsbawm, Eminent Historian, Dead at 95

Max Read · 10/01/12 10:59AM

British intellectual Eric Hobsbawm, the pre-eminent historian of his generation, died Monday morning in a hospital in London, where he was being treated for pneumonia. He was 95.

Richard Dawkins Torn Limb From Limb—By Atheists

Remy Stern · 07/07/11 05:37PM

Biologist, philosopher, and atheist prophet Richard Dawkins really put his foot in it. The New Statesman says Dawkin's career as a public intellectual is kaput. The Atlantic Wire has him losing a flame-war against his very own fan base. In the blogosphere, the most devoted Dawkinsians—people who've spent their adult lives in adoration of his every utterance—are boycotting his books and calling him a buffoon. A classist, male chauvinistic, and potentially racist buffoon. And why?

Magniloquent French Sage Bernard-Henri Levy Stumped by Dastardly Totalitarian 'Wikipedia'

Hamilton Nolan · 02/10/10 10:27AM

France is so weird. It's a magical land where philosophers are famous, and a journalist's philosophical spoof can be popular enough to spawn "a fan club that meets monthly in salons throughout Paris," and many members of the public know what "philosophy" means. By contrast, here in America many members of the public know what "Cheez" means.

Let's Screw Up the Entire Internet to Save Newspapers

Hamilton Nolan · 07/01/09 12:09PM

The hot new idea among people who think about "journalism," and the sanctity thereof: let's ban linking, on the internet! Let's also ban wheels, in order to save the horse industry. Let's also ban talking about things!

Are Broke Authors the Best Authors?

Hamilton Nolan · 02/10/09 03:10PM

In the March Harper's there's an article about last fall's Frankfurt Book Fair, where the publishing industry gathered to bemoan its recession-era fate. Will a world with poorer authors really make publishing more pure?