Essay & Op-Ed Archive: Cultural Criticism

Trump and Putin: the pictures tell the story

Anyone who needs confirmation of the secret of a strongman — that he’s a weak man, in constant need of ego affirmation — need only look at images of the …

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Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

I monumenti fascisti restano in piedi

Quando Benito Mussolini, alla fine degli anni trenta, si preparava a ospitare l’Esposizione universale del 1942 a Roma, commissionò la costruzione di un nuovo quartiere a sudest della città che …

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Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

Why Are So Many Fascist Monuments Still Standing in Italy?

In the late nineteen-thirties, as Benito Mussolini was preparing to host the 1942 World’s Fair, in Rome, he oversaw the construction of a new neighborhood, Esposizione Universale Roma, in the southwest …

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Does Cultural Crisis Breed Artistic Fertility? A Look Through History to Understand Today

Creativity thrives in times of upheaval, and many of us now certainly feel the ground shifting under our feet. For the foreseeable future, we’ll be living with and governed by …

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Woody Allen

Can we separate the life and work of artists?

What happens when we learn that a person whose creative work we admire supports causes we find offensive, or has engaged in acts contrary to our values? Does this change …

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Jeb Bush speaking at the Iowa

Why it’s good to speak Spanish in America

Should people living in America speak English? Should they be derided, viewed with suspicion, or even asked to leave, if they primarily speak a different language? Judging by the CNN …

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Alan Kurdi Graffiti

How We See the Migrant Crisis: Toddler’s image stops us in our tracks

Images of migrants’ suffering, and of humanitarian rescue, have filled our news feeds for more than a year now. Men, women, children — more than 300,000 on the move so …

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War and Cinema: It’s Complicated

We are living through another dramatic moment in the complex relationship of war and cinema. This time, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper is the movie at issue. It has been nominated …

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American Sniper, the perfect hero for our time

Every age has the heroes it deserves, as the saying goes. To judge from the success of the movie “American Sniper,” the hero of the current moment would be the …

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