Culture

  • Americana Redux

    Sitting in a deluxe meeting room in an office in midtown Manhattan, David Lauren, an executive vice president of the Ralph Lauren Corp. and second son of the famous designer, does something you wouldn’t expect of a fashion executive: he reveals that the elegant suit he has on—double-breasted and wide-lapelled in navy-blue wool, worn with a pin-dotted tie—is in fact 20 years old. He’s not begging for a raise or showing off his thrift. He is demonstrating a truth about this moment in world culture: that the old is new and the new looks old and there’s no need to choose between them—and that his company is on the crest of this cultural wave. The suit was designed by his father, and any wear that it’s showing after all these years is like “the patina of a great pickup truck,” he says, since the brand “is always rooted in the classics—it’s about history.”
  • The Psycho of Hollywood

    Director Alfred Hitchcock gulped martinis, treated actors like cattle, and lusted after his leading ladies. Will a new film starring Anthony Hopkins reveal the man behind the movies?
  • The Science of Heaven

    Can consciousness exist when the body fails? One neurosurgeon says he has seen it firsthand—and takes on critics who vehemently disagree.
  • Ang Lee

    The ‘Life of Pi’ director on his greatest balancing act.
  • And the Winner Is: Katherine Boo

    A descent into the Mumbai slums climbs to literary heights as it nabs the National Book Award. The author speaks to Lucas Wittmann.
  • The Story of Joe

    He stars in the epic film ‘Lincoln,’ but Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a passion for tales that are equally as ambitious—though a little bit shorter.
  • Election Rehab

    Twenty cultural events tailor-made for recovering political addicts.
  • Pens at the Ready

    Lucas Wittmann, Jimmy So, Doug Stanton and Nick Mancusi on the best of today's war books written by veterans.
  • 5 Armchair Getaways

    Is winter weather keeping you inside? From the Pacific Islands to the American West, these books will take your far, far away.
  • The Snack-Food Trap

    Science is now proving what we’ve long suspected: we’re hard-wired to want the foods that are worst for us.
  • Jeeves at the Pierre

    Want a treadmill in your hotel room? Or egg whites at 4 a.m.? Meet New York's ‘royal attachés' who fulfill guests' every whim.
  • Bond is Back

    Shake us. Stir us. James Bond is back and cooler than ever. The iconic spy at 50. By Simon Schama.
  • Minneapolis

    Anne Panning charts the evolution of an earnest Midwestern metropolis.
  • Mistressville

    Ambitious and energetic, Shanghai more than merits the nickname Shang Kong. But the mainland city is co-opting more than just the colonial hub’s commercial savvy. Businessmen here are aping their Cantonese counterparts by keeping a bevy of on-demand girlfriends and paying their bills in exchange for their love and loyalty. Welcome to Shanghai’s newest neighborhood: Mistressville.
  • Prague

    Patricia Hampl on a gray streetscape that one day burst into color.
  • Does ‘Cloud Atlas’ Soar?

    A megawatt cast attempts to bring the grand scheme of David Mitchell's complex novel to life. Reviewed by film critic David Ansen.
  • Revolutionary Snark

    Nobel winner Mo Yan and the magical realism of China's micro-blogging platform Weibo. By Melinda Liu.
  • Poppin’ Bottles

    San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum can dodge a line drive, but the two-time Cy Young winner was no match for a cork that nailed him in the face in a postgame celebration caught on television.

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