Magazine September 2, 2013, Issue

The Mislaid Continent

The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari, by Paul Theroux (Houghton Mifflin, 368 pp., $27)

During his 40 years as a travel writer, Paul Theroux has specialized in journeys in unusual places, by more or less ordinary local means — trains were the favorite, but even a canoe would serve. Originally a Peace Corps teacher in Africa and by preference a loner everywhere, he has been compulsive about sensory observation and personal encounter. Romanticism, hype, and mythmaking are his bugbears.

His hard nose may have been a nuisance to people close to him, such as V. S. Naipaul, with whom he publicly feuded, but among popular authors he is perhaps the sole living champion of the

Sarah Ruden’s most recent books are the extensively revised second edition of her Aeneid translation and her new translation of the Gospels.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

How Nature Works

Our contemporary debates about evolution are basically an extension of the argument Christians have been having with one another since the Middle Ages, about how much autonomy God granted to ...
Politics & Policy

The Myth Maker

Lawrence of Arabia enjoys a prominent place in the mysterious and self-perpetuating realm of myth. This remarkable achievement has always depended on the impression he left of himself as both ...


Politics & Policy


A Dissent on Dissenting I write in response to Arthur Herman’s article, “Sensitive SEALs,” in the August 5 National Review. I am a former U.S. Army Special Forces officer, and I agree ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Detroit is dead and al-Qaeda is alive. ‐ A group of conservative senators, most prominently including Ted Cruz, hopes to defund Obamacare by forcing a government-shutdown fight over a so-called ...

Keep Off the Grass

A rodeo clown in Missouri has been banned from rodeo-clowning for the rest of his life because he wore an Obama mask and subjected our president to ridicule. Tough break; ...
Politics & Policy


SPRING My enemy had hatched her young, Made real the heady boasts she’d sung, And when I saw the cherished thing, I vowed it would not fly or sing. My talons tightened in its fluff. Their ...
Happy Warrior

The Blasphemy Police

In 2010, the bestselling atheist Richard Dawkins, in the “On Faith” section of the Washington Post, called the pope “a leering old villain in a frock” perfectly suited to “the ...


The Latest