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Essay/Education
An unlikely triumph

In its first century the American higher-education system was a messy, disorganised joke. How did it rise to world dominance?

David Labaree

Classic /Memoir
CLASSIC

Cerium

Primo Levi

Primo Levi, 1975

How chemistry saved Levi’s life in the final days of Auschwitz

With a new introduction and commentary by Carole Angier

Essay/Stories & Literature
Readers of the world unite

How markets, Marx, and provincial elites created world literature to fight both empire and nationalism

Martin Puchner

Essay/Cultures & Languages
Talking gibberish

The study of languages has long been prone to nonsense. Why is linguistics such a magnet for dilettantes and crackpots?

Gaston Dorren

Essay/Stories & Literature
The coming-of-age con

How can you go about finding ‘who you really are’ if the whole idea of the one true self is a big fabrication?

Cody Delistraty

Essay/Stories & Literature
Mata Hari uncovered

Dancer, courtesan, spy: on the centenary of her execution, how much do we really know about the woman behind the legend?

Julie Wheelwright

Essay/Bioethics
The pig on your plate

That pigs are smart and sensitive is not in doubt. How can we justify continuing to kill them for food?

Barbara J King

Essay/Cultures & Languages
Is linguistics a science?

Much of linguistic theory is so abstract and dependent on theoretical apparatus that it might be impossible to explain

Arika Okrent