Magazine December 31, 2011, Issue

Victorian Creations

Charles Dickens: A Life, by Claire Tomalin (Penguin, 576 pp., $36)

Two giants of the 19th-century English novel, William Makepeace Thackeray and Charles Dickens, were born within a year of each other, in 1811 and 1812, but only Dickens has been the subject of international bicentenary commemorations.

Dickens’s long hold on the public imagination is due to the many memorable literary characters he created, each one seeming to embody elements of the best or the most venal, if not the worst, of the human species: Tiny Tim and Scrooge, Pecksniff, the Artful Dodger, Mr. Gradgrind, Sam Weller, the Podsnaps and Veneerings, to name a few. In the foibles and heroics of these

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

The String-Pullers

Barack Obama initially ran for president invoking Abraham Lincoln, then looked to Franklin D. Roosevelt and even appealed to Ronald Reagan. He began campaigning for reelection as Harry Truman running ...
Politics & Policy

An Unavoidable Challenge

Our political calendar and one of our nation’s greatest threats have synchronized. In the upcoming year, the American people will render their judgment on Barack Obama’s presidency. Meanwhile, if the ...
Politics & Policy

The Z-Word

A few weeks ago, a Labour MP in Britain, Paul Flynn, expressed displeasure with his country’s ambassador to Israel. “I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories,” he said, “but ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Tintin Triumphant

I first encountered Tintin, the Belgian comic-book artist Hergé’s immortal reporter-detective, while trailing behind my parents in one of the many pretentious secondhand shops that clutter up southern New England. ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Send Drones, Not Soldiers Jamie M. Fly’s “Retreat — But Whose?” (December 19) turned me from a supporter of the war in Afghanistan to a skeptic. If these are the best ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ President Obama told 60 Minutes that mending the economy “probably takes more than one president.” Hey, we’ve been saying that since January 2009. ‐ Obama, having tired of performing his ...
The Bent Pin

Tingling for Camelot

That barometer of our jejune times, Chris Matthews’s oh-so-sensitive leg, is all aquiver with a brand new thrill. Four years ago it was Obama’s oratory that triggered the hot-cold sensations that ...
Athwart

Crude Ethics

A website aimed at design professionals had a piece this month about keeping your ethical character snow-white when asked to work for dubious clients. Star profile: a young fellow who ...
The Long View

The President’s Schedule

Dec. 13, 2013 (All times approximate.) 6:30 a.m. President and Mrs. Gingrich wake to soothing white-noise generator. Closed Press. 7:00 a.m. President and Mrs. Gingrich attempt “Downward Facing Dog” yoga pose. Pool Spray ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

JANUARY Why comes the winter with its bitter winds, its drifts of snow and ice that run too deep, as though the Earth the summer’s warmth rescinds and kills the rose we tried past ...
Happy Warrior

The Mutant Present

Flipping channels in my hotel room the other night, I caught ten minutes of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, a film I like enormously. It’s an “old” movie, from the Fifties, ...

Most Popular

Media

The Unseemly Urge to Excuse Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, was suspended from his jobs and subjected to a round of public mockery for visibly exposing himself while masturbating on a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues. The call was designed to role-play post-election scenarios for a contested election; Toobin ... Read More
Media

The Unseemly Urge to Excuse Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, was suspended from his jobs and subjected to a round of public mockery for visibly exposing himself while masturbating on a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues. The call was designed to role-play post-election scenarios for a contested election; Toobin ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More