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Charles Simic on Jim Marshall's photographs of jazz musicians and festivals from the 1960s

Dizzy in the Daylight

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Mark Danner followed Donald Trump on the campaign trail, and here assesses the source of his support and what lies ahead for his term as president.

The Real Trump

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Luc Sante on Richard McGuire's new book of spot illustrations: "McGuire has a special gift for endowing inanimate objects with personalities. He is a virtuoso with an army of styles at his command."

Virtuoso of the Tiny

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Maria Callas was born on this day in 1923. Michael Shae recalls his first experience of her voice: “One day my roommate put Callas’s 1953 Tosca on the turntable and dropped the needle onto ‘Vissi d’arte.’ It sounded—it still sounds—to me like pure emotion… it opened up a world to me: a world of feeling pushed to an extreme, an operatic world, that in large measure became defined for me by Callas.”

A Definitive New Callas

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December 4 is the final appeal for Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji, who is currently in jail for "infringing public decency." Naji’s prose, Zadie Smith writes, "explicitly confronts what happens when one’s fundamentally unserious, oversexed youth dovetails with an authoritarian, utterly self-serious regime that is in the process of tearing itself apart. It’s very bad historical luck. It’s...
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Egypt: Laughter in the Dark

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"Although America long ago had a Virginia architect as president—Thomas Jefferson—never until this year had someone reached its highest office from the considerably less elevated realms of New York real-estate development, Atlantic City casinos, and TV reality shows," writes Martin Filler in his review of 'Never Built New York'—a survey of proposals that never made it past the design stage.

Building Dreams and Nightmares

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"A US-Russia deal on Syria would be seen by many Syrians and by the Arab countries in the region as a surrender to Tehran," writes Ahmed Rashid.

Iran’s Game in Aleppo

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On this day, in 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

Edward Ball writes on the newly opened Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Among the many "anchoring objects" that tell the vast story of black history in this country is a dress that Parks was making at home the week she was arrested.

At Last, a Black History Museum

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Richard Holmes reviews ‘Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey’ by Frances Wilson, which he calls a “risky, sprightly, passionate biography.”

De Quincey: So Original, So Truly Weird

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"From a distance he was monumental. Close up, the picture darkened. And now Fidel Castro is dead," writes Alma Guillermoprieto. "Trump, one imagines, is keeping a keen eye on the future: there couldn't be a more appealing investment for the kind of mogul he is than Cuba."

The End of Fidel

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Kenneth Roth argues that the next US administration must increase the cost of Russia’s complicity in war crimes in Syria.

What Trump Should Do in Syria

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"George W. Bush was checked by American civil society, international criticism, and, for the first time in history, the Court and Congress. If Bush could be stopped, Trump is also stoppable," writes David Cole. "It won’t happen overnight. There will be many protracted struggles. The important thing to bear in mind is that if we fight, we can prevail."

The Way to Stop Trump

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America’s prisons hold 2,193,000 people. That is more than the number of people who live in Manhattan. Approximately 400,000 of them move in and out of solitary confinement. Men, women, and children can be put there for years on end, solely at the whim of a prison guard. There is no legal process that gets them there and no legal process that can prevent them from being put there.

Human...
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America’s Invisible Inferno

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The Chinese writer Hu Fayun, who was exiled to a village during the Cultural Revolution, tells Ian Johnson that ever since "I've feared hardship and fatigue. But in important actions, if I feel I should express myself, then I try to pick up my courage."

Inside and Outside the System: Chinese Writer Hu Fayun

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Sue Halpern on the Internet and the election

Facebook, Twitter & Trump

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Masha Gessen: “We cannot know what political strategy, if any, can be effective in containing, rather than abetting, the threat that a Trump administration now poses to some of our most fundamental democratic principles. But we can know what is right.”

Trump: The Choice We Face

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John Lanchester on time travel, a concept "two years older than Dracula, and eight years younger than Sherlock Holmes. The very term 'time travel' is a back-formation from the unnamed principal character of H.G. Wells's character in his 1895 novel 'The Time Machine,' whom he calls 'the Time Traveller.' The new idea caught on so quickly that it was appearing in the Oxford English Dictionary by...
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Can We Escape from Time?

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Fidel Castro has died. Esther Allen writes about previously unpublished photographs of him from the 1960s, and the populist power of the Castro cult.

Fidelmania

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Christopher Benfey: "The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston had long possessed—in its fabulous collection of Japanese art unparalleled anywhere outside Japan—an anonymous album of drawings long assumed to be by Hokusai. That album has now been persuasively linked to the artist."

The Magician of Manga

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