Rae-Anne Renka

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What Does Modi’s Victory Mean for the World?

The world’s biggest democracy and second-biggest country has a new leader, and he’s a controversial one: Narendra Modi, the head of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, and the longtime chief minister of Gujarat, a state in the northwest of India. In a post here today, the Indian …

Political Scene: Inequality and Education in Newark

In the magazine this week, Dale Russakoff writes about the education-reform efforts in Newark, New Jersey. She joins Jelani Cobb and host Dorothy Wickenden on the Political Scene podcast to discuss the pitfalls of the education-reform movement in the context of inequality, public schools, and …

Insuring the Apocalypse

Last week, the White House released the National Climate Assessment, and the news is grim. Coral reefs are dying, shellfish will increasingly make us sick, and cherries are being decimated by weather extremes. Along the Eastern Seaboard, waters will rise up to four feet—perhaps six feet—by the end …

Turkey’s Coal Problem

On Tuesday afternoon an explosion tore through a coal mine in Soma, Turkey, as more than seven hundred workers prepared for a shift change. The subsequent fire cut off electricity to the mine, trapping hundreds of miners about a mile beneath the surface. By evening, the official death toll was over …

How Do Hedge Funds Get Away With It? Eight Theories

The other day, I asked how hedge funds manage to bestow such great riches on their managers despite the fact that, in many cases, their performance seems pretty ordinary. That got quite a reaction. The responses ranged from claims that hedgies are remunerated perfectly appropriately to charges that …

Nellie Bly’s Lessons in Writing What You Want To

There are certain nonfiction writers—often critics, sometimes journalists—whose particular talents and tastes seem especially well matched to their era. One thinks of George Orwell, intellectually and morally lucid just when the world needed someone to be; Joan Didion, naturally paranoid, primed to …

The Ambivalent Legacy of Brown v. Board

In March of 1863, a fugitive slave named Gordon found his way to the Union Army lines in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Exhausted from his efforts to escape his slaveholders and their dogs, he showed up in tattered rags. When doctors examined him, they saw that his back was marred by a lattice of keloid …

Coca-Cola’s Happiness Machines

“Hello Happiness,” a new video from Coca-Cola, opens with footage of migrant laborers in Dubai, standing before dawn in a patch of dirt as they wait for a van to pull up and shuttle them to work. Later, we cycle through shots of grim-faced men in work clothes—slouched on the bus as the sun rises, …

Vivian Maier and the Problem of Difficult Women

When John Maloof, a real-estate agent, amateur historian, and garage-sale obsessive, acquired a box of photographic materials and personal detritus at an auction in suburban Chicago in 2007, he quickly realized that he had stumbled upon an unknown master of street photography. But despite his …

Still Here

“You want me out of your life,” Monica Lewinsky wrote in a draft of a letter to President Bill Clinton in December, 1997. At that point, their sexual encounters in his Oval Office study, which had begun two years earlier during a government shutdown and were facilitated by a pizza delivery, were …