WORLDVIEWS

Nagasaki, My Grandfather and Me

NAGASAKI, Japan — The live fish of the day, taken from a tank that occupied half the restaurant’s floor space, was squid. Its translucent flesh, cut into neat strips draped carefully over its body, twitched gently as the man explored it with his chopsticks. “When you’re done, we’ll cook the rest of it,” the waitress … Read more

BOOKS

In Rio, the Middle Class Awakens to Demand Its Due

Rio de Janeiro is a spectacular city, situated between mountains and the ocean, broad enough to encompass a national forest and the justly famous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. It’s the subject of song and story, and this year it pulled off a spectacular and joyous Olympic games. Rio is also a city of contrasts, … Read more

 

BOOKS

Confronting a Father’s Sex Change and a ‘New Self’

In 2004, the American writer Susan Faludi, the author of “Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women,” received an email from her estranged father, Steven, announcing that he had undergone sex-reassignment surgery and was no longer, according to him, “impersonating a macho aggressive man that I have never been inside.” It wasn’t the news, Faludi … Read more

BOOKS

For Russia and All Other Nations, Geography Is Still Destiny

Our communications and travel technological advances of the last half century or so have made the world feel very small and suggest that rivers, mountains and even oceans are no longer barriers. That may be true of travel, at least for Americans or Europeans (O.K., Australians too) on vacation, but recent news stories describing the … Read more

BOOKS

Ancient Rome: An Empire With Surprising Relevance Today

Who isn’t fascinated by ancient Rome, which continues to engage our imaginations: how did the Romans have the engineering skills to construct those enormous buildings, and entertain us with statues, plays and art and inform our politics? The Cambridge University professor of classics and blogger Mary Beard’s “SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome,” which surveys … Read more

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