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Why Niebuhr Matters

The Amorality of the State: An Excerpt from Why Niebuhr Matters

Famously cited as one of Obama’s favorite philosophers, midcentury religious and political thinker Reinhold Niebuhr offered “a political realism that refuses to abandon high moral principles to short-term practical compromises.” In Why Niebuhr Matters, from Yale University Press’s Why X Matters Series, author Charles Lemert explores the continued relevance of this morally demanding realism—and the […]

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Why Trilling Matters

Literature Matters; Lionel Trilling Matters

In Why Trilling Matters, from Yale University Press’s Why X Matters Series, Adam Kirsch makes a compelling argument for why mid-century American literary critic Lionel Trilling might matter thirty-six years after his death. Yet the importance of a literary critic rests on the more fundamental question of the importance of literature, and just as Kirsch’s […]

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Why Niebuhr Matters

One of Obama’s Favorite Philosophers

Reinhold Niebuhr’s best known contribution to contemporary culture is rarely associated with his name. “God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other,” Niebuhr wrote in 1943, and although most modern […]

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November Yale Art Books Logo

November Theme: American History

For a month that annually celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday, the heritage of Native Americans, election season, and towards the end, a shopping frenzy that fuels the cycles of capitalism and consumerism, November brings with it many opportunities to reflect on the current state of American culture and the history that shaped it. We’ll have a […]

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Why Translation Matters

Say Good-bye to Your Dragon Tattoo: Why Translation Still Does and Will Always Matter

The importance of translation in bringing new books and ideas into English is crucial. Although no one has declared a universal language since Louis XIV, the dominance of English in international commerce, media, and even academia is impossible to ignore. Yet merely an estimated three percent of the hundreds of thousands of books published in […]

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Why Architecture Matters

Paul Goldberger knows a little something about architecture. As the architecture critic for The New Yorker, writing his celebrated “Sky Line” column since 1997, he also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in Manhattan. After beginning his career at the New York Times, he received a Pulitzer Prize […]

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Clare Cavanagh and Edith Grossman at the 92nd Street Y

Before her NBCC win, Clare Cavanagh already had events lined up at the 92nd Street Y. The first on Sunday, March 20 is a conversation with Edith Grossman titled “Why Translation Matters,” and Grossman’s book of the same name has just been published in paperback from YUP. Both authors are critically-acclaimed translators of the first […]

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J’Accuse! (Heard That One Before?)

On February 7, 1898, French writer Émile Zola was brought to trial for libel in his publication of “J’Accuse” in L’Aurore, a daily, leftist paper in Paris. His indictment of the French military’s treatment of the Drefyus Affair catapulted the anti-Semitic, pro-nationalist conspiracy to international recognition. The sympathetic camp of Dreyfusards finally had a popular […]

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The Legacy of Philip Johnson

Today is what would have been Philip Johnson’s 104th birthday.  Philip Johnson was a renowned architect whose work covered the 20th century and many of its architectural styles.  Coincidentally, questions of 20th and 21st century architecture have been appearing in the news recently, as Vanity Fair has published results of a survey on the most […]

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The Economist review of Begley’s Dreyfus Affair

The Economist has a positive review today of Louis Begley’s Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters. “As a primer on the affair, this is a first-rate narrative and a heartfelt plea to modern democracies to stick to their values and defend basic liberties, however threatened they feel.”—Economist

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