THE HITLER SALUTE: ON THE MEANING OF A GESTURE
By Tilman Allert
Metropolitan, 106 pages, $20
What if the Nazis had greeted each other with high fives instead of that stiff-armed, sharp-handed salute? What if Germans had been allowed to say hello to one another by name instead of invoking their Führer? Read More
I think I may have missed something important in my initial take on the assault and attempted kidnapping of Elie Wiesel by a Holocaust denier. Are you familiar with this Feb. 1 incident? Don’t be surprised if you missed it; for some reason, this emblematic outrage has been largely ignored by the media.
Perhaps the Read More
The Castle in the Forest, by Norman Mailer. Random House, 477 pages, $27.95.
Norman Mailer’s first novel in over 10 years has a couple of big surprises right off the bat. One is physical, the other spiritual. As to the first, the welterweight from Brooklyn turns 84 at the end of the month; you lift Read More
I spent Christmas Eve at two parties in LA hosted by Jews—friends of my gentile brother-in-law. Didn’t plan it that way; just worked out that way.
The first party was all film industry. I asked the host’s daughter about being Jewish and having a Christmas party and she laughed and said, “Yeah. Basically we do Read More
I remember an occasion in San Francisco, years ago, when the writer Tillie Olsen invited other women writers of the area to dinner at her house, where by way of introducing her guests, in the sweetest possible manner, she went around the room telling a slightly humiliating anecdote about each one. Of Jessica Mitford, she Read More
I credit the “emo flu.” If I hadn’t been stricken by this strange affliction going around, I wouldn’t have taken to bed with a pile of spy novels and emerged determined to convince you that Philip Kerr is the contemporary master of the morally complex thriller.
But first, a word about this flu. It was Read More
When the late Keith Moon wasn’t jokingly parading around in Hitler regalia, he could probably be found trashing one of the many hotels The Who stayed at. This weekend, The Times “Travel” section takes a look at the hard-living Moon–who “once nailed his room furniture to the ceiling”–along with Read More
Could it be that the public apology has become the iconic new literary art form of our times? With an aesthetic and a taxonomy and a subtle rhetoric all its own? This is the thought that occurred to me while reading a sneakily profound new book called My Bad: 25 Years of Public Apologies and Read More
The form in which we most often encounter sociology is David Brooks or Malcolm Gladwell, taking us on a stroll through our works and days and discontents. Tom Wolfe is simultaneously more entertaining, because he dresses his observations in fiction, and grimmer.
But sometimes we meet a practical sociologist who is engaged in more alarming Read More
In some contexts, the good, decent humanist approach seems more callous than sheer bloody-mindedness. Here’s how A.C. Grayling, a professor of philosophy at the University of London and nothing if not a good, decent humanist, defines his objective in Among the Dead Cities: “[D]id the Allies commit a moral crime in their area bombing of Read More