Intellectual Affairs

Intellectual Affairs
All too familiar: a disturbed loner wins posthumous recognition by mixing mass murder and mass media. Scott McLemee consults an Italian theorist's reflections on the problem.
We divide history into periods just to keep it manageable. Scott McLemee reports on a discussion of whether we're doing it right.
Does the arc of the universe bend toward justice? Scott McLemee looks into a philosopher's book on racial profiling and police homicide.
Historians are recovering the sounds, smells and other sensory details of the past. Scott McLemee checks the record.
It's the most important American political document scarcely anyone remembers a word of. Scott McLemee reports on a new book putting the Emancipation Proclamation in context.
The pre-eminent literary theorist of the 1960s and '70s went out fashion -- yet never really went away. Scott McLemee looks into the afterlife of an original.
Put down that chocolate and pick up some broccoli! Improve your attitude and you can do anything! Scott McLemee looks into a new book on the critique of self-improvement.
A historian's travels can contribute more to her work than archival sources. Scott McLemee reads Dispatches From Dystopia.
Thorstein Veblen's The Higher Learning in America is back in a new edition. Scott McLemee revisits a scathing classic.
It's compact, direct and mind melting -- and now its story has been told. Scott McLemee meditates on The Bhagavad Gita: A Biography.
The age of print is giving way to the digital age... right? Scott McLemee looks into a scholar’s alternative perspective.
Social hierarchy is a touchy subject. Scott McLemee looks at a sociologist's study of wedding across class lines.

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Archive

January 15, 2016

Celebrate or hate it as you will, writes Scott McLemee, Wikipedia has metamorphosed from its beginnings as a gangly cultural interloper into the de facto reference work of first resort.

January 6, 2016

In a new memoir, the brother of the Unabomber tries to make sense of his own past in the context of acts of violence utterly disconnected from his own memories, writes Scott McLemee.

November 4, 2015

Over the past century and a half or so, petroleum has been abundant and relatively easy to extract, Scott McLemee writes. The next 150 years -- in fact, the next 15 -- do not look quite so promising.

October 7, 2015

Writer, professor, tattoo artist … not so daring now, but 60 years ago, it was another story. Scott McLemee on the lost essays of a wild one.

September 30, 2015

A philosopher's commitment to fascism raises controversy … again. Scott McLemee is scandalized.

September 2, 2015

All too familiar: a disturbed loner wins posthumous recognition by mixing mass murder and mass media. Scott McLemee consults an Italian theorist's reflections on the problem.

August 26, 2015

We divide history into periods just to keep it manageable. Scott McLemee reports on a discussion of whether we're doing it right.

July 22, 2015

Does the arc of the universe bend toward justice? Scott McLemee looks into a philosopher's book on racial profiling and police homicide.

July 15, 2015

Historians are recovering the sounds, smells and other sensory details of the past. Scott McLemee checks the record.

June 10, 2015

It's the most important American political document scarcely anyone remembers a word of. Scott McLemee reports on a new book putting the Emancipation Proclamation in context.

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