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The American Scholar

18 articles
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The Torture Colony

A utopian German settlement in Chile had already turned darkly cultish by the time it became a secret torture site for enemies of the Pinochet regime.

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Visions and Revisions

Maintaining the manual On Writing Well.

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On Friendship

The author examines his closest relationships.

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A Jew in the Northwest

On leaving New York for Portland.

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Miles from Nowhere

In 1968, the author revisits remote British Columbia, which he traveled two years earlier.

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Living With Voices

A radical new treatment for auditory hallucinations.

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The Growing Menace

On the ground with U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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The Disadvantages of an Elite Education

What happens when top universities focus on careers rather than minds.

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The Embarrassment of Riches

A pre-recession essay on becoming extremely wealthy.

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Solitude and Leadership

A speech on the value of being alone with your thoughts, delivered to the plebe class at West Point.

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Wheeling

A flurry of interactions in a doctor's office hint to varieties of unnamed medical problems and domestic unhappiness.

"Why wasn’t the doctor coming out? I could give her a ride, but not to another state, not to Wheeling, West Virginia. Beyond the glass doors, a vacuum started loudly. Suddenly, the woman who’d drawn my blood walked quickly past us, tears streaming, mouth tight, clutching a pink piece of paper."

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Alone at the Movies

Afternoons with Altman and Allen.

For a year or two during the mid-1970s, living in New York, I was a moviegoer. I was in my early 20s then, working off and on, driving a cab, setting up the stage at rock shows, writing occasional pieces for The Village Voice. But there were also long empty spells. I tried to write some fiction and couldn’t, tried to read and could—but only for so long. I ended up going to the movies.

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Dubya and Me

On witnessing the transformation of George W. Bush over 25 years.

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The Man Who Shot the Man Who Shot Lincoln

The strange life of Boston Corbett, the soldier who killed John Wilkes Booth in 1865.

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Baseball’s Loss of Innocence

After the 1919 Black Sox scandal, Ring Lardner, America’s first great sportswriter, walked away from the game.

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A Pigeon in Piketown

The shooting death of the last wild Passenger Pigeon, atomic energy, mastodon watering holes, and other footnotes in Ohio history.

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The Last Island of the Savages

A voyage to North Sentinel island, home to one of the last entirely isolated populations on Earth.

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Afghanistan: ‘So This is Paktya’

Night raids by the “Hash Monster” and other perils facing American soldiers at a remote base in the wilderness of the Paktya Province as they attempt to turn over power to the Afghan Army.