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New York Review of Books

From their website:

The New York Review began during the New York publishing strike of 1963, when its founding editors, Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein, and their friends, decided to create a new kind of magazine—one in which the most interesting and qualified minds of our time would discuss current books and issues in depth. Just as importantly, it was determined that the Review should be an independent publication; it began life as an independent editorial voice and it remains independent today.

The New York Review’s early issues included articles by such writers as W.H. Auden,Elizabeth HardwickHannah ArendtEdmund WilsonSusan SontagRobert Penn WarrenLilian HellmanNorman MailerGore VidalSaul BellowRobert Lowell,Truman CapoteWilliam Styron, and Mary McCarthy. The public responded by buying up practically all the copies printed and writing thousands of letters to demand that The New York Review continue publication. And Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein continued as co-editors of the Review until Barbara’s death in 2006; Robert Silvers continues as editor.

Within a short time, The New York Times was writing that The New York Review “has succeeded brilliantly,” The New Statesman hailed its founding as “of more cultural import than the opening of Lincoln Center,” and the great English art historian Kenneth Clark observed, “I have never known such a high standard of reviewing.” The unprecedented and enthusiastic response was indicative of how badly America needed a literary and critical journal based on the assumption that the discussion of important books was itself an indispensable literary activity.

Last Updated: July 7, 2016

One Decent Man

Geremie R. Barmé from New York Review of Books
The thought of hearing back from Simon Leys filled me with dread. It was late 1976 and I was an exchange student at a university in Shenyang, in northeast China. I’d only recently learned that Pierre Ryckmans, the man who had taught me Chinese, was...

‘Ruling Through Ritual’: An Interview with Guo Yuhua

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Guo Yuhua is one of China’s best-known sociologists and most incisive government critics. A professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, she has devoted her career to researching human suffering in Chinese society, especially that of peasants, the...

The Fantastic Truth About China

Alec Ash from New York Review of Books
In 1902, Liang Qichao, a reformist intellectual of the late Qing dynasty, wrote a futuristic story called “A Chronicle of the Future of New China.” In the unfinished manuscript, he depicts Shanghai hosting the World Fair in 1962 (“Confucius year...

China: Back to the Future

Andrew J. Nathan from New York Review of Books
In 2023, Xi Jinping will conclude his second term as China’s president. Ever since Deng Xiaoping revised the country’s constitution more than 35 years ago, two consecutive terms have been the most that a president can legally serve. But it has...

After-Shocks of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
The province of Sichuan is a microcosm of China. Its east is flat, prosperous, and densely settled by ethnic Chinese. Its mountainous west is populated by poorer minorities, but possesses resources that help make the east rich.In Sichuan, the...

Chairman Xi, Chinese Idol

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
For nearly sixty years since it opened in 1959, the Great Hall of the People has been the public focus of Chinese politics, a monumental granite block that extends 1,200 feet along the west side of Tiananmen Square. It is where the country’s leaders...

The Brands That Kowtow to China

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
There’s been no joking as the apologies to China have come thick and fast in recent weeks, issued not by teenage singers but by some of the largest and richest multinational corporations in the world—the German luxury car manufacturer Daimler, the...

Who Killed More: Hitler, Stalin, or Mao?

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
In these pages nearly seven years ago, Timothy Snyder asked the provocative question: Who killed more, Hitler or Stalin? As useful as that exercise in moral rigor was, some think the question itself might have been slightly off. Instead, it should...

The Red Emperor

Roderick MacFarquhar from New York Review of Books
This fall, the Nineteenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.) gave proof that during his five years as general secretary Xi Jinping has become the most powerful leader of China since Mao Zedong died in 1976. Most observers, Chinese and...

‘The Biggest Taboo’

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
One of China’s most influential artists is forty-eight-year-old Qiu Zhijie. A native of southern China’s Fujian province, Qiu studied art in the eastern city of Hangzhou before moving to Beijing in 1994 to pursue a career as a contemporary artist...

The True Story of Lu Xun

Geremie R. Barmé from New York Review of Books
1.Addressing an audience at the Hong Kong YMCA in February 1927, the writer Lu Xun (the pen name of Zhou Shuren, 1881–1936) warned that despite ten years of literary revolution and the promotion of a written vernacular language, Chinese people had...

Sexual Life in Modern China

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, Chinese writers grappled with the traumas of the Mao period, seeking to make sense of their suffering. As in the imperial era, most had been servants of the state, loyalists who might criticize but never seek to...

Trump in the China Shop

Gideon Rachman
New York Review of Books
The arrival of Donald Trump in the White House threatens a significant acceleration in the rivalry between the U.S. and China.

Why Pollution is Good for China

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
I am a member of a martial arts group that performs at annual temples fairs around Beijing.

China’s Way to Happiness

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
The return of collective religious traditions is part of Chinese people's search for meaning and stability...

Unhinged in China

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
“A Touch of Sin” is made up of four interlocking stories that are meant to encompass the geographic sweep of China, and what director Jia Zhangke sees as the epidemic of violence and amorality in modern Chinese life. 

China: When the Cats Rule

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
On one level Lao She’s novel is a work of science fiction—a visit to a country of cat-like people on Mars—that lampoons 1930s China. On a deeper level, the prophetic work predicts the terror and violence of the early Communist era’s chaos and...

Losing Face, Leaping Forward ‘Wealth and Power,’ by Orville Schell and John Delury

Joseph Kahn
New York Review of Books
Despite the book’s title, this is not a definitive guide to China’s rise. Schell and Delury's examination of how an unusual trait in Chinese culture worked its way through politics and intellectual life is a fascinating attempt to reconcile...

Censoring the News Before It Happens

Perry Link
New York Review of Books
Chinese censors number in the hundreds-of-thousands. Their duties are to not only block stories they disapprove of, but to alter and obscure details in published stories, and promote stories that cast the Party in a good light.

Blogging the Slow-motion Revolution: An Interview with Huang Qi

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
Huang Qi is best known in China as the creator of the country’s first human rights website, Liusi Tianwang, or “June 4 Heavenly Web.” A collection of reports and photos, as well as the occasional first-person account of abuse, the site is updated...

Beijing's Doomsday Problem

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
Over the past 10 days, China's been riveted by accounts of what authorities call a doomsday cult: the church of Almighty God. ...

In the People’s Liberation Army

Mo Yan
New York Review of Books
Mo Yan, recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, describes an experience in the People's Liberation Army in the 1970s. This text is excerpted from his part fiction, part memoir Change...

Perry Link: Does This Writer Deserve the Prize?

Perry Link
New York Review of Books
On October 11 Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, announced that the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2012 will go to the fifty-seven-year-old Chinese writer Guan Moye, better known as Mo Yan, a pen name that means “...

Han Han: “Why Aren't You Grateful?”

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
When looking for Chinese reactions to the anti-Japanese riots that took place in late September, it was probably not much of a surprise that the Western press turned to Han Han, the widely read Shanghai-based blogger. In characteristic form, Han...

Beijing's Dangerous Game

Perry Link
New York Review of Books
Many have ascribed the vehemence of the protests to deep-rooted anti-Japanese sentiment linked to injustices committed by Japan eighty years ago. But there is little evidence to support this. Rather the protests appear to have everything to do with...

Jesus vs. Mao? An Interview with Yuan Zhiming

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
In the intellectual ferment leading up to the 1989 Tiananmen protests, a much-watched series on Chinese television called River Elegy became closely identified with the hopes of China’s reformers. The six-part series, which used...

The New Olympics Arms Race

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
You can follow the Olympics two ways. First, there’s the right way: you pay attention to the athletes and root for great performances. You see them cry and hug each other in joy or look away in disgust at a bad performance. You empathize with them...