It’s easy to see what’s wrong with car culture. Fixing it is harder.

In "Carmageddon: How Cars Make Life Worse and What to Do About It," Daniel Knowles says a lot about how cars make life worse, and not enough about what to do about it.

By Peter C. BakerMarch 28, 2023

How Vince McMahon and his wrestling empire explain America

In the revelatory biography “Ringmaster,” Abraham Riesman explores the strangely entwined worlds of Trump-era politics and the WWE.

By Zack RuskinMarch 25, 2023

Three decades after her sister’s murder, a writer seeks justice

In 1990, Liliana Rivera Garza was killed in Mexico. In “Liliana’s Invincible Summer” her sister, Cristina, sets out to figure out what happened.

By Erika L. SanchezMarch 23, 2023

How we might stop the flood of data-driven misinformation

In “Distrust,” Gary Smith argues that science is being undone by the very tools that scientists developed. But he has a plan to change that.

By Abby OhlheiserMarch 23, 2023

The books I read to understand the Vietnam War

Fifty years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam, these stories live on.

By Eric Nguyen March 23, 2023

Vietnam’s toxic legacy continues, and Agent Orange looms large

“The Long Reckoning,” by George Black, focuses on the ongoing work of public accountability and private penance for America’s mess.

By Steven V. RobertsMarch 23, 2023

What a new book gets wrong about Picasso’s time in France

In ‘Picasso the Foreigner,’ Annie Cohen-Solal offers an ambitious but misguided interpretation of the great Spanish artist’s life.

By Hugh EakinMarch 22, 2023

As Saigon fell, a young banker went on a desperate mission

Ralph White’s “Getting Out of Saigon” recalls the chaos and delusions that stood in the way of his efforts to evacuate Chase Manhattan’s Vietnamese employees.

By Mark Atwood LawrenceMarch 22, 2023

‘Birchers,’ a well-told, familiar entry in the ‘how we got to Trump’ genre

In his history of the John Birch Society, Matthew Dallek says Republicans allowed the extreme fringe to “eventually cannibalize the entire party.”

By Sam Adler-BellMarch 22, 2023

Exploring the crowds that gather for Trump — and dream of civil war

In ‘The Undertow,’ Jeff Sharlet examines the anger powering American politics today.

By Adam Fleming PettyMarch 21, 2023

‘Armageddon’ reads the Book of Revelation with fresh eyes

Bart Ehrman reads the Book of Revelation in context, and offers a tour of historical reactions to it -- it wasn't until the 1830s that it was considered a timeline for the end.

By David DarkMarch 21, 2023

A White woman re-creates the lives of her Black ancestors

Rachel Jamison Webster’s family history, “Benjamin Banneker and Us,” is a thoughtful blend of research, conversation and imagination.

By Maud NewtonMarch 21, 2023

Explaining spiritual experiences through a scientific lens

In “The Transcendent Brain,” Alan Lightman argues that profound moments in his life have nothing to do with religion — only atoms.

By Denis AlexanderMarch 17, 2023

Sometimes it’s too much! But the exclamation point has a point.

A history — and defense — of emphatic punctuation.

By Florence HazratMarch 17, 2023

Borders can be spaces of wonder — if you have the right passport

In "The Edge of the Plain," James Crawford explores the way that borders at once keep us apart and make us who we are.

By Kanishk TharoorMarch 16, 2023

Why are so many Americans poor? Because we allow it, two books argue.

Sociologists Mark Robert Rank and Matthew Desmond examine the attitudes and policies that keep poverty entrenched.

By Timothy NoahMarch 16, 2023

During the revolution, New York City burned. Who set the fires?

In “The Great New York Fire of 1776,” Benjamin L. Carp argues that Americans, not the British, deliberately started the blaze.

By Robert G. KaiserMarch 15, 2023

Kara Goucher and Lauren Fleshman reveal what’s wrong with women’s running

Two top athletes, Lauren Fleshman and Kara Goucher, write about competing in an environment rife with failings.

By Mythili G. RaoMarch 14, 2023

Ballet begins with a dream. Too often, it turns into a nightmare.

Alice Robb’s "Don’t Think, Dear" is a feminist interrogation of ballet.

By Kimberly SchayeMarch 14, 2023

Adam Gopnik tries to master drawing, driving, dancing and boxing

Adam Gopnik investigates the mystery of mastery by attempting to learn to draw, box, dance and drive.

By Tom VanderbiltMarch 13, 2023