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In Conversation

ABBIE HOFFMAN with Abbie Hoffman

“Political irrelevance is more effective than political relevance,” says Abbie.

A Mother’s Days

Writing in 1974, Joan McClure assessed the challenges presented by her roles as a mother, professor, and feminist activist.

In Conversation

CARNE ROSS with Nikolas Kozloff

Once a consummate insider, the former diplomat is now a trenchant critic of the establishment.

Barack In A Weary Land

In 2000, a clinical designation for a hangover was coined: veisalgia. Derived from the Norwegian word kveis (uneasiness after debuachery) and the Greek root -algia (pain, grief), the word came just in time for the Bush presidency and, two terms later, it was nice to be able to diagnose the sickness of a nation whose moral authority, global standing, and economic health had come off the rails.

I Wish You Love

This week I received what appeared to be a bit of spam in my e-mail. The message began “Hi barbara,” and went on to explain that the sender was “Dr. Mel,” a board-certified psychiatrist in Winnetka, Illinois specializing in the treatment of obesity.

A fragment from Isolate Flecks: An Anatomy

Leo Kaufman had gotten so used to playing the bohemian Jew from Manhattan that he forgot what it was like to be one. Columbia had kids who could play the bass, who could write poetry. They practiced all day in the basement of Delta Phi, versified at the Hungarian Pastry Shop until closing.

Beautiful, Forever

Poverty is a touchy subject for Americans, evoking as it does an awkward mixture of empathy and reproach. It’s not that we lack compassion for the grizzled old man shuffling down the subway platform in his paper bag shoes; it’s just that we can’t help holding him somewhat accountable for his own misery.

Crime by the Numbers

For most Americans, crime deterrence and prisons go hand-in-hand. The belief that we can make ourselves safer by locking up vast numbers of our fellow men has held special sway as an argument in our criminal justice discourse and policy for the past four decades.

URBAN COMBUSTION: When Morality & Politics Mix

Not unlike today, late 19th century America was an age of robber barons, of white, Christian moral absolutists, of foreign immigration and domestic migration, and of a “progressive” movement contesting capitalism’s excesses.

Graphic Uprising

In this brief but penetrating account, Mary Patten, a long-time artist, activist, and teacher, reflects on her involvement in the rise and fall of the Madame Binh Graphics Collective (M.B.G.C.), an all-women’s poster, printmaking, and street art collective active in New York City from the mid-1970s through early 1980s.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2012

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