Winsor McCay is widely regarded as one of America’s greatest cartoonists. His early 20th century comic strips (“Little Sammy Sneeze,” “Dream of the Rarebit Fiend”) and animated shorts (“Gertie the Dinosaur,” “The Sinking of the Lusitania”) are still among the most groundbreaking examples of both genres.
In our increasingly turbulent and dangerous world where threats are not only physical in the form of terrorist attacks but cyber (as in the massive hacking of Sony Pictures), can intelligence agencies employ the massive amounts of automated data at their disposal to produce accurate and timely forecasts about attacks, thereby decreasing risk? Can intelligence analysis approximate scientific and medical research in producing solutions to complex threats, or should intelligence forecasts about likely threats be perceived as comparable to weather forecasts, in which errors in predicting heavy rain or snow are taken for granted? As the authors of this important book write, “[W]e are better off with sometimes inaccurate forecasts than with no forecasts at all.”
Over the last several years, Common Core education standards have become an increasingly important issue for parents and teachers, as they see how children are affected by the policy. Yet, the details of what exactly Common Core is, how it works and how it came to be remain hopelessly complex and difficult for the novice to understand.
It gets off to a rousing Rosenfelt start with a murder in a house otherwise occupied by an 8-year-old boy called Ricky and a basset hound called Sebastian.
Last year, J. Michael Lennon, Norman Mailer’s authorized biographer, brought out nearly 1,000 pages packed with everything thought or said by or about Mailer, his life, his friends and enemies, his work that seemed to obviate the need for any further biographical data. But a year has passed, and Mr. Lennon (also Mailer’s official archivist) is back with a volume, nearly as thick and heavy, of Mailer’s correspondence.
This collection, intended to be in celebration of the New Republic’s centenary, will be looked at more as a requiem. This month, the magazine’s editor, Franklin Foer, and its long-standing and widely respected literary editor, Leon Wieseltier, left the magazine after a difference in vision with the owner, 30-year-old Chris Hughes. The magazine is moving back to New York City — its home for the first decades of its existence — and will be transformed, in the words of Mr. Hughes, into a “digital media company.” Mr. Hughes purchased the company only two years ago but seems to have tired of its place in American letters.
Neither the formal portrait of the aging, reflective mournful figure that takes up most of the front cover of the book nor the richly adorned matron in her prime on its back cover has much to do with the woman so vividly brought to life in these pages. In fact, they might be said to reflect the very images A.N. Wilson wants to correct.