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The New York Review of Books
FROM THE FEBRUARY 24, 2011 ISSUE
Is Health Care Reform Unconstitutional?
David Cole

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Can Republicans defeat Obama’s health care bill by persuading the courts that mandatory health insurance is unconstitutional? On December 13, 2010, Henry Hudson, a federal judge in Virginia, declared unconstitutional the central provision of the health care reform law. Judge Hudson reasoned that the law’s command that citizens purchase health care insurance extended beyond Congress’s authority to legislate. It has long been established that Congress may regulate citizens’ economic activities, such as entering into contracts, producing or purchasing goods and services, or shipping goods across state lines. But it is entirely unprecedented, Judge Hudson said, for Congress to regulate “inactivity”—a failure to buy insurance.
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Who’s Afraid of the Palestinians?
Hussein Agha and Robert Malley
Tigers, Humans, and Snails
Tim Flannery
Tony Judt: The Distinctions
Thomas Nagel
Obama at the Edge
Michael Tomasky
The Fading Dream of Europe
Orhan Pamuk, translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely
His Finest Hour
Garry Wills
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Geoffrey O’Brien
What Is a Good Life?
Ronald Dworkin
TABLE OF CONTENTS »
Uprisings: From Tunis to Cairo
William Pfaff
Dictators do not usually die in bed. Successful retirement is always a problem for them, and not all solve it. It is a problem for everybody else when they leave. What’s to be done afterward? The popular uprising that overturned the dictatorial Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali regime in Tunisia in mid-January sent a thrill of hope through Arab populations.
Aside from the exceptional and complex case of Lebanon, Arab nations have since the demise of the Ottoman Empire mostly suffered from European quasi empire, their own exploitative military and party dictatorships, and recently, hereditary family dictatorships, a reversion to absolute monarchy in secular guise.
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Jeremy Bernstein
ElBaradei and Egypt’s Nuclear Future

Ingrid D. Rowland
Saving Alexandria

Yasmine El Rashidi
‘Tomorrow, to Tahrir Again’

David Bromwich
Obama, Incorporated

Timothy Snyder
Hitler vs. Stalin

Yasmine El Rashidi
‘Hosni Mubarak, the plane is waiting’

Martin Filler
Hollywood’s Royal Stammer

Elizabeth Gumport
The Long Exposure of Francesca Woodman

Martin Filler
Modernism in the Kitchen

William Pfaff
The Trouble with Dictators

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NEW TITLES
Poison Penmanship
Jessica Mitford
The Doll
Bolesław Prus
Conquered City
Victor Serge
Confessions of a Poet Laureate
Charles Simic
The Traveller's Tree
Patrick Leigh Fermor
FROM THE JANUARY 13, 2011 ISSUE
No Thanks for the Memories
Gordon S. Wood
Where Do We Go from Here?
Paul Krugman and Robin Wells
Diaghilev’s Great Adventure
Arlene Croce
The Threat to British Universities
Simon Head
The Way Out of Afghanistan
Ahmed Rashid
Bring Back the Rails!
Tony Judt
TABLE OF CONTENTS »
FROM THE DECEMBER 23, 2010 ISSUE
On the Death Sentence
John Paul Stevens
The Last Irascible
Sarah Boxer
Bitter New Washington
Elizabeth Drew
How Can the Economy Recover?
Jeff Madrick
The Glory of the Rails
Tony Judt
In Search of Lost Paris
Luc Sante
TABLE OF CONTENTS »
FROM THE ARCHIVE: AUGUST 16, 1979
Letter from ‘Manhattan’
Joan Didion
Self-absorption is general, as is self-doubt. In the large coastal cities of the United States this summer many people wanted to be dressed in “real linen,” cut by Calvin Klein to wrinkle, which implies real money. In the large coastal cities of the United States this summer many people wanted to be served the perfect vegetable terrine. It was a summer in which only have-nots wanted a cigarette or a vodka-and-tonic or a charcoal-broiled steak. It was a summer in which the more hopeful members of the society wanted roller skates, and stood in line to see Woody Allen’s Manhattan, a picture in which, toward the end, the Woody Allen character makes a list of reasons to stay alive.
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EXCHANGE
Rescuing Literature: An Exchange
Robert Greer Cohn, Bruce Henricksen, Marian Ury, and Steven M. Albert, reply by Roger Shattuck
To the Editors:
Roger Shattuck is justified in deploring the scientism that has enveloped literary discussion of late, but his rescue plan for literature is touchingly quixotic [“How to Rescue Literature,” NYR, April 17]. It is not enough to talk about the oral interpretation of literature as the antidote to Barthes, Derrida, the structuralists, and the deconstructionists; one must attempt to understand (historically, culturally, psychologically, and morally) those schools of ...
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