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Appreciating the ‘powerful good’ of the public library

Video at PBS Newshour from last December:

Appreciating the ‘powerful good’ of the public library

Dismantling Utopia: How Information Ended the Soviet Union

By the 1980s the Soviet Union had matched the United States in military might and far surpassed it in the production of steel, timber, concrete, and oil. But the electronic whirlwind that was transforming the global economy had been locked out by communist leaders. Heirs to an old Russian tradition of censorship, they had banned photocopiers, prohibited accurate maps, and controlled word-for-word even the scripts of stand-up comedians.

Empire of the Summer Moon

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all.

A $55 Million Gift, and a New Name, for the Mid-Manhattan Library

Last year, the New York Public Library released plans for a total renovation of its Mid-Manhattan branch, the workhorse circulating library that has long been the ungainly stepsibling to the magnificent Beaux-Arts building across Fifth Avenue that houses its world-class research collection.

The work began this summer. And now the library has secured the final $55 million in private money needed to pay for that makeover, which will also come with a new name.


ArtSpeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present

Quest for the Lost City

Call Me Ishmael -- Quest for the Lost City by Dana and Ginger Lamb

Best American Essays

Best American Essays - Overview

Best American Essays 1986

Best American Essays 1987

Best American Essays 1988

Best American Essays 1989

Down the Rabbit Hole: E-Books and User Privacy in the 21st Century

Down the Rabbit Hole: E-Books and User Privacy in the 21st Century (PDF)

Cartooning: The New Front Line in Free Expressionism

Pulitzer Prize Winner, Tom Toles, discussed editorial cartooning on Thursday, July 30 in the Amphitheater. Toles is currently to editorial cartoonist at The Washington Post. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the National Cartoonist Society's Editorial Cartoon Award the 2011 Herblock Prize, and the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in editorial cartooning. In his lecture he went through five steps it takes to make editorial cartoons, and discussed his recent work.

The Weakness of the Case for Cameras in the United States Supreme Court

The Weakness of the Case for Cameras in the United States Supreme Court

Many people regard it as obvious that Supreme Court proceeding's
should be open to video camera, and should be broadcast live on television
and online. After all, the activities of Congress and the President are routinely publicized in this way, as are the proceedings of many state and lower federal courts. The benefits of such broadcasting seem manifest, and by stubbornly resisting this trend the Supreme Court apparently runs afoul of the basic demands of democratic transparency.

In Elite Schools' Vast Endowments, Malcolm Gladwell Sees 'Obscene' Inequity

In a sharp-elbowed opinion piece in The New York Times this week, Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of San Diego, took several big-name schools to task for the ways that they handle their endowments.

Fleischer cited Harvard, the University of Texas, Stanford and Princeton — but he reserved his harshest criticism for Yale University, which he says pays private equity firms $480 million a year to handle its endowment. Meanwhile, he says the school spends only $170 million dollars on financial aid for students — while tuition often rises.


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