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Ray Raphael on America’s founding myths.

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Mark Taylor on money and markets

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Howard Zinn on US history

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Patrick W. Carey on Orestes Brownson

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Sam Lipsyte on success and failure.

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Anne Foerst on robot theology

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Harry G. Frankfurt on bullshit

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Lydia Millet on unsympathetic characters

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Robert S. Boynton on the New New Journalism

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Elaine Showalter on academic novels

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Russell Jacoby on utopianism

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Richard J. Ellis on the Pledge of Allegiance

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David G. Myers and Letha Dawson Scanzoni on the Bible’s view of homosexuality

The weird fringes of (fractal) human knowledge.

“What has Henry Fonda done for me lately?”

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John R. Stilgoe on the non­inevitability of our landscapes

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Nicholas Johnson on the realities of life at an Antarctic station

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Jeffrey M. Hornstein on how home ownership became so important.

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E. Kay Trimberger on what makes single women happy

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Jane Smiley on how the novel works

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William J. Mitchell on the economy of presence

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Leslie Savan on the effects of “pop language”

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Hyder Akbar on a teenager’s view of Afghanistan

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Peter Pesic on why the sky is blue