Magazine March 6, 2017, Issue

A New Man

Montaigne: A Life, by Philippe Desan (Princeton, 796 pp., $39.95)

The story of Michel de Montaigne is that rare case, a political life that ends in success. Not, admittedly, the success that Montaigne sought. Nothing succeeded so well for Montaigne as failure. “My world is done for, my form is emptied,” he wrote shortly before his death in 1592. “I belong entirely to the past.”

Montaigne wrote this in the margins of what scholars call the Bordeaux Copy, a print copy of the fifth edition of his Essais. Published in Paris in 1588, the fifth edition was the last to appear in Montaigne’s lifetime. The 1588 edition added a third book

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


The Importance of NATO To the paragraph about President Trump’s getting NATO mostly wrong (the Week, February 6), I would add the following: Yes, Article 5 has been invoked by NATO ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Honestly, we do kind of wonder whether he told Flynn, “You’re fired!” ‐ National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was ousted. He had told Vice President Mike Pence that he hadn’t ...
Politics & Policy


IMAGE Between the sunset and the window shade, The maple leaves were quaking in the wind. I saw the shaken shadows that they made As if in fear — as if they were afraid That ...


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