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Noah Webster saw himself as a savior of the American language. He died feeling that he had failed as a lexicographer
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Thoreau was a fault-finder; Emerson, a showoff. They wanted to be friends, but, as Emerson put it, “Friends such as we desire are dreams and fables”
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During the Cold War, America's culture policy was foreign policy. Since then, America's culture policy has become a culture war
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Philip Larkin's parents were awkward people and not very good at being happy. "These things rub off," he said
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Einstein during World War I. Cut off from scientists abroad, he tried to extend his untested ideas about relativity into a more powerful theory
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"Summer reading is always a balancing act between the books I have loved, the books I feel I oughta love, and the books I sense I will love"
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Want to see how components of modernism become a source of lament? Enter the fallen world of motels. Geoff Dyer explains
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Thirty years since Cass Sunstein's first steps as a public intellectual, the world has changed. But not his ideas, or his dreary prose
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Is discussion overrated? Is it not as likely to generate bitterness, and division as it is to enlighten or foster consensus?
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The knowledge illusion. Only rarely do we allow ourselves to glimpse the epistemological abyss gaping beneath our beliefs
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